According to the Federal Trade Commission’s website, an agency devoted to protecting consumer rights, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), “prohibits debt collectors from using abusive, unfair, or deceptive practices to collect from you.”
Creditor harassment can take many forms. If the contact with your collector falls under one of these categories, then it may be considered harassment:
- Repeated phone calls intended to annoy or abuse
- Contacting your neighbors or employer about your debt
- Call you at work or late at night
- Use of vulgar or profane language
- Any form of threat or harm
- Calling you without informing you who they are
If you believe you are being harassed and feel helpless, the CFPB has a form to submit complaints, your best tool to stopping the harassment.
Complete and submit here.
This is an excellent way to legally find some relief from such harassment. Be aware that the FDCPA only applies to agencies that are harassing you, and not the original creditors.
Prevention is the best manner to avoid such circumstances. Paying bills on time is the best preventive manner to avoid going into debt. Borrowing more money to go further in debt is even worse. Ignoring the problem will only make the situation worse.
Be Up Front
Contact your creditor and explain your situation. Offer a solution and estimate a time that you would be able to pay. You might be able to work out a repayment plan. Honesty and being open can go a long way.
Send a Letter
If a collection agency has been hired to collect from you and you find it unfair or burdensome, then you have the right through the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FCDPA) to request that they stop. Write a letter requesting that they stop. Keep track of all contacts and transactions.
Another way to stop harassment is to request a lawyer to write a letter to the collectors for a more official means to stop. If needed, hire an attorney. They can help with all legal issues and they will handle the harassment from the collection agencies.
Bankruptcy is also solution. When you file for bankruptcy, an “automatic stay” is placed on all your debts, legally prohibiting any further creditor proceedings against you. Harassment can be solved through communication with your creditor, CFPB form, letter of request and or an attorney. Bankruptcy should only be entered into after a long assessment of your situation.
It is unlawful for the collection agencies to subject you to harassment. If your situation has escalated to harassment level you have the ability to sue the agency for damages, attorney fees, and an amount of money. Keeping logs of your calls and letters would be helpful in such situation.
If you’d like more information about how to stop creditor harassment or if bankruptcy is right for you, contact us at Esplin Weight today. Our experienced attorneys are ready to help you find the light on the other side of debt.