STOP Creditor harassment!
When you owe money to any creditor, they will attempt to collect the money you owe by several different means. They may call you, mail letters or send your account to a collection agency. Many people often wonder if the constant contact they receive is considered creditor harassment. If you think your creditors are harassing you, call an attorney right away.
Original Creditor vs. Collector.
The original creditor is whom you signed the contract with. This can include your cell phone company, credit card company, or any other company you made payments to. If you fail to pay the original creditor, they may sell your account to a debt collector. The collection company will purchase the debt for pennies on the dollar. They will then attempt to collect the full debt plus any fees they add to your balance. The collection company will then own your debt as well as any information concerning the debt. When it comes to creditor harassment, you can do more to stop collection agencies.
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
This Act was passed in 1977 with the sole purpose of protecting consumers from unfair collection practices. It gives consumers the right to obtain information regarding the debt as well as use that information to dispute the debt. If you find that the collectors calling you have violated the FDCPA, you are able to make a claim against them. The act put in place several rules that creditors and collectors alike must follow to avoid fines and penalties from the United States Government.
What is Not Allowed.
This act was passed to stop certain types of creditor harassment. Collectors must follow rules when collecting a debt. Failure to do so could benefit you. If you are receiving collection calls, note the time each call takes place. If the calls are before eight in the morning or after nine at night in your local time, the company is in violation of the FDCPA. Harassing, violent or vulgar language is not to be used by collectors. The law also prohibits collectors from using threats of legal action as a way to collect the debt unless they have the authority to do so. Collectors cannot contact you with a postcard that announces your debt to the world and must use plain unmarked envelopes for all mail communication.
What is Required.
A debt collector must identify themselves to the debtor as a collector as well as inform them that the call is an attempt to collect a debt. They must then verify the identity of the person on the phone to insure they are speaking with the debtor. They are required to notify the debtor of the name and address of the original creditor as well as the amount owed. If you request further information about the debt, they may require your request be in writing. They must then provide you with the information you have requested within thirty days and are unable to contact you until that time. The collector is also required to inform the debtor of their right to dispute the debt in portion or entirety. Many collectors fail to inform consumers of their right to dispute a debt and many consumers do not know they have the option.
You have some tools in your arsenal to stop creditor harassment. Like anything, you should contact an attorney to protect your rights.