Hard financial times can fall on just about anyone in northern Kankakee. It could be a job loss in a tough economy, an extended hospital stay due to a serious illness, or an unexpected car repair that can push a person over their financial edge, especially if they are living paycheck to paycheck. If a person cannot pay their bills, it will not be long before debt collectors start calling. However, it is important to understand that under the law there are limits to what debt collectors can and cannot do.
What can debt collectors do?
According to the Illinois Attorney General, debt collectors are permitted to do certain things in order to collect what is owed. They are allowed to contact debtors either in person, through the phone, by telegram or through email. However, there are limits on when and how they can contact you.
What are debt collectors prohibited from doing?
Debt collectors cannot contact you at unreasonable times, such as prior to 8:00 am or after 9:00 pm, unless you consent to these calls. Debt collectors also cannot contact you at your job without your employer’s approval. Debt collectors also cannot disclose to a third party except for your attorney that you owe money.
If you are contacted by a debt collector via telephone, the debt collector has five days to issue you written notification stating how much you owe, the name of the creditor and what to do if you want to challenge the debt.
Debt collectors cannot harass you, oppress you or use abusive language. They cannot lie to you or imply that you have committed a crime. They also cannot commit unfair business practices, such as making you accept a collect call unless you agreed to this when the debt was created.
What can you do if you are facing creditor harassment?
If you wish to stop a debt collector from contacting you, you can send them a written letter asking them to stop. Once the debt collection agency receives this letter, they are prohibited from contacting you in the future except to provide you with notification that specific actions will be taken if you do not pay the debt. You can also seek legal advice, which this post does not provide, to understand more about your rights and options as a debtor, including filing for bankruptcy in an effort to secure a brighter financial future.