If dealing with your creditors and debt collectors is starting to stress you out, there are steps that you can take to regain your composure. The following advice is based on the stipulations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. At the end of this article are tips on how to deal with debt collectors who violate your consumer rights.
Stop Your Creditors
Is it possible for you to stop your creditors from collecting debts? The answer is yes. However, it does not change the fact that you owe your creditors and that you have the obligation to pay them back.
Nevertheless, you can write your creditor or debt collection agency telling them that you will not be available to answer calls and that the best way to contact you is through letters only.
Limitations of Your Creditors
If you are represented by an attorney, debt collection agencies can only contact your attorney about your debts. If your creditor continues to contact you directly despite your advice to speak with your attorney, you can file a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission.
Unfair Debt Collection Practices
You need to be aware about your rights. Check the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and if your debt collector is guilty of a violation, report it to the Attorney General’s Office in your state and file a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission by visiting www.ftc.gov.
Below are examples of the FDCPA violations:
Calling before 8 am or past 9 pm. You can only be contacted outside these hours if you gave your permission.
- Using foul or obscene language in any form- verbal or written.
- Making threats to force you to pay.
- Using lies to scare you.
- Disclosing details about your debts to other people.
- Resorting to media to publicize your debts. This is clearly a form of harassment.
To read the complete list of unfair debt collection practices, visit the FTC’s website.