Many of us have had to deal with debt collector calls at some point in our lives. This can be annoying, embarrassing, and border on harassment. Some people are so bothered that they change their phone numbers or even disconnect their phones.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is the federal law that dictates what debt collectors can and can’t do. First of all, they can’t call you about a debt that you don’t owe. You also have the right to request verification that the debt is yours. If they can’t provide you with proof that the debt is yours, then they are not allowed to call you anymore. Even without a validation request they must abide by certain rules when it comes to contacting you over the phone. They are not allowed to call before 8am or after 9pm your time. They can’t call you repeatedly and they can’t call you during anytime that you have previously stated was inconvenient.
Learn more about debt validation here.
Cease and Desist
You are under no obligation to talk with a debt collector over the phone. In fact, if you hang up on them and they continue to call, they are in violation of the FDCPA. It’s best to request all communications to be in writing. The debt collector does not have to honor this request; however, you do have one more recourse. You can send a cease and desist letter to the debt collector. This written request prohibits any further communication with you. This cannot be used with the original creditor, only the debt collector.
Sometimes we get calls from debt collectors who are looking for the previous owner of the phone number which is currently yours. In this case it is prudent to send a cease and desist letter, but do not admit to the debt since it is not yours. If the debt collector persists in calling, report them to your state Attorney General and the Federal Trade Commission.
Debt collectors are also notorious for calling you in hopes of finding someone else like a friend or relative. They can do this in order to obtain an address, phone number or employment information. They cannot disclose any specifics about the debt and they are only allowed to contact a specific third party. After you have told them what you do or don’t know, they’re not supposed to call you again. They are in violation of the law if they continue to call.
There are several sites online where you can find a cease and desist letter template.Once the collection agency receives your cease and desist letter they can communicate with you one more time via mail, letting you know 1 of 3 things: that further efforts to collect the debt are terminated, that certain actions may be taken by the debt collector, or that the debt collector is definitely going to take certain actions. Be sure to send the cease and desist letter via certified mail with return receipt requested. This will provide proof that the letter was sent and received. If the debt collector continues to contact you beyond the single instance allowed by law, the evidence of the letter will allow you to seek punitive action against the debt collector.
Golden Financial Services can help you with defending yourself from debt collectors and eliminating debt.
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Brian S. is a professional writer at www dot ScottDOwens dot com. As a graduate from Rollins College, Brian’s resourceful nature and diverse interests make him an asset to their content deelopment team.