Nearly everyone has some level of debt, but when debt gets out of control and you start missing payments, debt collectors may come calling. Sometimes debt collectors can take things too far and their tactics can venture into harassment territory, becoming not only stressful and annoying to deal with, but even inhibiting on your right to privacy. Want to stop the harassment? Here are a few valuable tips you can use to fight back against debt collectors.
Know Your Rights
As a consumer, there are numerous laws in place to protect your rights from unreasonable or vicious collection efforts by creditors. Knowing what creditors may and may not do may help you hold them accountable if they violate any of these laws.
Under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, debtors are forbidden from:
- Contacting your neighbors or employers, except to locate you (they may not mention your debt)
- Calling you at late-night or unreasonable hours
- Calling you at work
- Calling you repeatedly
- Calling you without disclosing their identity
- Using obscene, derogatory, or threatening remarks
- Threatening to remove your child custody or welfare privileges
- Publishing your name in any way
- Engaging in deceptive conduct
As a consumer, you have the right to hold creditors who engage in these or any other forbidden type of debt collection practice accountable for their actions, including suing them for damages, attorney fees, and up to an additional $1,000.
Work it Out With Your Creditor
Believe it or not, most creditors are willing to be flexible with you if you’re honest and upfront with them. Hiring a collection agency is expensive, and they prefer to avoid it too. If you have a bill coming up and you know you’re not going to be able to pay it on time, call them and let them know. You might be surprised at how willing they will be to arrange a payment plan that allows you to pay off the debt without having to resort to collections.
Write a Letter
If a creditor starts harassing you, you can write a letter requesting they stop contacting you. Under the FDCPA, they must stop contacting you upon receiving this letter. If you choose to take this option, you should also make sure you not any illegal actions they have taken (mentioned previously) and also send a copy of the letter to the Federal Trade Commission for their records.You should also make sure you have a powerful ally in the form of a Brevard County bankruptcy attorney on your side. Call The Buchalter Law Group today at (321) 320-6088 to request a case evaluation!