If a debt collector or worse yet several debt collectors are hassling you unmercifully, it can just about ruin your entire life. I have read stories of people who owed less than $800 and yet were being called four or five times a day – both at home and at work. Really malicious debt collectors will call early in the morning or late at night and even scream or curse at you, which would definitely be called abuse.
Debt collectors are people, too
Debt collectors are also human beings and most of them will not engage in the kind of abusive practices described above. They are people like you who just have a job to do, albeit an unpleasant one. However, there are debt collectors who can only be called evil and who will verbally beat you like a rented mule.
You do have rights
If you do fall into the clutches of a malicious debt collector, it’s important to know that you do have rights. A few years ago the U.S. Congress passed what is called the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act or FDCPA. The purpose of this act is to protect you from debt harassment. If you become familiar with this act, it can help you live a much less stressful life.
What debt collectors cannot do
According to the FDCPA debt collectors are not to call you repeatedly or call you at inconvenient places or times. They are barred from using abusive or profane language and cannot claim that their company is affiliated with any government entity. The collector is not to call you before 8 AM or after 9 PM or attempt to collect a debt that is too old to be enforced under the laws of your state. Furthermore, debt collectors are not allowed to misrepresent the legal status or amount of your debt or threaten to communicate false credit information about you.
And even more rights
You have many other rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. It would pay you to read more about this act if you are being harassed by an evil debt collector. You can find more about it by going online and searching on the term FDCPA.
Notify the collector that you wish no further contact
One of the most important things about the FDCPA is that it gives you the right to send a “cease and desist” letter to any debt collector that is harassing you that he or she is not to contact you again. You will need to send this letter to the collection agency as registered and return receipt requested so you can prove you did notify the agency to not contact you again. Once you do this, the only thing the collection agency can do by law is send you a letter verifying the fact that it is not to contact you again.
You could sue the debt collector
If you send a cease-and-desist letter to a collection agency and it continues to harass you, you can hire a lawyer and sue the agency. However, many of the really shady collection agencies have headquarters offshore so are basically bulletproof when it comes to lawsuits. Plus, you can only sue to a maximum of $1000 and if you do collect, you’ll have to pay your lawyer and could end up with as little as $600 or $700.
A better way to handle big debt
We think the best way to get those debts off your back is by letting us settle them. Our trained and experienced people can contact your creditors and negotiate settlements that will likely save you thousands of dollars. We will provide you with a payment plan you can afford and that will get you out of debt in 24 to 48 months. Call us today for complete details as to how debt settlement could help you.