Tips for Dealing with Harassment by Debt Collectors

Posted on: 10 November 2015

Falling into debt that you can't easily repay can be financially and mentally stressful. As anyone who has ever been in debt knows, debt collection companies can be very aggressive and persistent in their quest to get debts paid. If you feel like you are being harassed by a debt collection company, use the following tips to improve the situation:

Know Your Rights

Debt collection companies and the practices they employ are regulated by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). This act outlines a variety of rules that debt collectors must follow, such as providing verification of a debt, and a list of behavior that is prohibited, like

  • continuously calling with the intent to annoy,
  • using profane or abusive language,
  • calling after a person has filed for bankruptcy,
  • calling a person's place of employment after being told that it is prohibited by the employer,
  • or contacting a debtor who has informed the company that he or she is represented by a debt collection attorney.

These are just a few things listed in the FDCPA. Taking the time to read through the document can help you recognize if a debt collection company is breaking rules and needs to be reported to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Send a Written Request Prohibiting Contact

If you are being harassed by a particularly annoying debt collection agency, you can send a written notice telling them to cease contact with you. Under the terms of the FDCPA, they are required to stop calling you in this situation. When sending a written notice, make sure you send it by registered mail and require a signature as proof that the written notice was received. This step is a good idea if you plan to dispute the debt in question or file for bankruptcy in the near future. While a written request will stop a debt collection company from calling you, it will not make the debt go away and the debt collection company can choose to file a lawsuit.

Hire a Debt Collection Attorney

Unfortunately, there are times when a debt collection agency can start harassing you for a debt that is not yours, such as in a case of identity theft or a person with debt who has the same name as you. This can be very frustrating, but hiring a debt collection attorney may solve the problem. Your attorney can work on your behalf to make the debt collection agency provide solid proof validating the debt. If necessary you may need to go to court to stop the harassment and remove the debt from your credit record, and an attorney can assure that the process goes smoothly. Depending on the situation, the court may order the debt collection company to pay your attorney fees if you win the case. Contact an attorney like Sinsheimer, Stuart J to get started.