Constant phone calls from creditors won't help when you are behind on bills. They will just leave you feeling anxious and overwhelmed. There is a line when creditors step into the territory of harassment. They might start calling at late hours of the night, contacting your job, or even lying to you over the phone. Victims of this type of harassment should know that they are protected under federal law and can exercise their rights.
Know when creditors cross the line
It is important to understand the difference between what creditors can and cannot do when contacting you. Under the Fair Debt Collection Act collection agencies are prohibited by federal law against threatening, insulting, or misrepresenting information. They cannot lie about the amount that you owe or lie about who they are. If creditors are displaying this type of behavior then it is illegal.
According to the law creditors are also not allowed to:
- Contact you before 8 AM or after 9 PM
- Call you at work if you told them not to
- Tell you they will sue or call the police without a court order
- Say they will garnish your property or wages
Your next step: write a letter
If creditors are harassing you with nonstop phone calls then you have the power to stop them. Your next step is to write a letter requesting that the collection agency should no longer contact you. Make sure to include the following information in your letter:
- Your full name and address
- The account number in collections
- The amount owed
- The original lender
- A statement requesting that they no longer contact you
Make sure to keep the letter factual and professional. Mail the letter to the agency and make sure they receive it with a return receipt. After the agency receives the letter they should stop contacting you. Whether the collection agency indeed ends contact or if they decide to continue harassment it can be beneficial to have the help of an experienced attorney. An attorney can become a liaison between you and the agency. They will help be a final step in preventing creditors from harassing you and can give you advice on how to deal with your debts.