Knowing that you owe a debt is a harsh fact of life for many people; however, you might not worry as long as you are able to make payments on time. The issues can begin when you can’t make those payments and you could come in contact with a debt collector.
There are some options to stop them from bullying you. It is imperative that you learn about your rights and consider these tips before you answer any phone calls regarding debts.
Debt collectors can’t harass you. While there isn’t any firm number of phone calls allowed per day per collection company, there are specific hours during which they can’t call. People trying to collect a debt can only call from 8 in the morning through 9 at night. The only exception is if you specifically ask for them to contact you outside of these hours. The law governing debt collection attempts does note that constant and repeated calls are forbidden. Interestingly, violations of this section are one of the most common.
The people who call to collect debts should be professional. They can’t use profanity, threats or false statements. This includes making statements that they are going to have you put in jail or that they will garnish your wages or other income. Of course, if the court does enter a garnishment, they could let you know that information but without a court order, they can’t make that claim.
Cease and desist letters
If you don’t want the creditor to contact you regarding the debt, you will have to send a cease and desist letter. This must clearly state that you don’t want to be contacted and is best served to the creditor via a trackable way such as with a return receipt request. Once they are served with this letter, there are only two instances in which the creditor can contact you. The first is to acknowledge that they won’t make any more contact attempts. The second is to let you know that they are taking a specific action, such as filing a lawsuit against you.
When debt collectors violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, you can take action. There are specific penalties that debt collectors will face if you pursue legal action and they are found guilty of violations.