Dealing with Debt Collectors
Is a debt collector hounding you? Just because you’re overdue on a debt doesn’t make you a human punching bag. Many, if not most, debt collectors know many debtors have no idea that the law limits what debt collectors can do when working to collect a debt. You’ll find plenty annoying what debt collectors can legally do; there’s no need to let them get away with abusing you through illegal tactics too.
My Own Ongoing Experience With a Debt Collector
I volunteer with the small carshare cooperative in my city. One of my duties is to check voicemail daily on the co-op’s main phone line. For many months now a debt collection agent has been calling. Apparently the agency believes the co-op’s phone number is the number for someone named Samantha Howell, who must allegedly have overdue debt. The agent never identifies the reason for the call. Instead, he or she asks for an urgent call back. I learned that the calls were from a collection agency by searching the phone number. Actually most of the time the agent says nothing on the voicemail—just leaves the line open, I’m guessing to consume all the voicemail recording minutes, as a form of harassment which pinheaded debt collectors believe may induce a call back.
This is just a tiny sampling of what you’re in for should you have the misfortune to fall behind on a debt. Those of you who have done that know what I mean.
What Debt Collectors Are Not Legally Allowed to Do
If you have overdue debt, it’s critical you learn your rights with respect to debt collection. What collectors can legally do will be bad enough—don’t let them get away with illegal collection activity as well!
This short video from the Federal Trade Commission is a great way to get a start on learning about illegal debt collection tactics.
One comment on this video: Near the end, it notes that you can stop debt collection calls simply by making a written request to the debt collector. The term isn’t used in the video, but this is what’s called a “cease & desist” letter. The video is correct that sending a cease & desist letter to a debt collector will end debt collector phone calls. However, you still owe the debt, and your letter may compel the debt collector to sue you. Read my article “Send a Cease & Desist Letter?” before considering a cease & desist notification to a debt collector.
Fight Back Against Illegal Debt Collection Tactics!
Volume 5 of my Simple Guides—”WIN the Battle with Debt Collectors!“—is the perfect resource for anyone with past due debt. You’ll learn the limits on debt collection tactics and exactly what to do to fight back and defend your rights.
If you can’t afford this Guide’s modest price, please write to me and explain your circumstances briefly. I’m a soft touch for a free copy. 🙂