Maybe you received a four-year degree a long time ago but are still drowning student loan debt, or perhaps you have credit card debt after maxing out on several cards. No matter what debt you face, it's likely that you are aware of it and probably actively trying to pay it off.
If this is the case, then you might be wondering why you still receive countless phone calls about your debt. Debtors all over the country fall victim to this sort of harassment each year. In fact, of all the industries included in the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the highest amount of complaints come from debt collectors. Knowing what type of calls are fair game and what is illegal can help you address and stop debt collector harassment.
In the negative
When you borrow a friend money for dinner because they forgot their wallet at home, you'd probably remind them to pay you back later. Similarly, borrowing money in the form or loans and lines of credit, gives collection agencies the right to call and remind you to pay your dues.
However, according to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), it's unlawful for debt collectors to:
- Use profanities or threatening language
- Call constantly or into late hours
- Give away information about you or your debt to third-parties
- Ask you to pay more than you actually owe
Essentially, you shouldn't have to tolerate any calls that are extremely disruptive or purposefully deceiving, no matter if you have a small or large amount of debt.
In the clear
After kindly asking many debt collectors to stop calling you, you realize the calls are still flooding in. It may seem a little old school, but federal law requires debt collectors to stop harassing you if you write a formal letter. If you have a list of days and times of the calls and some of the statements used against you by collectors, this can help make your letter stronger and give you ample evidence to file a complaint with the FTC.
Filing for bankruptcy can also help put a stop to the harassment and give you chance to financially reset. Whether you want to implement long- or short-term solutions to manage your debt, legal aid can help you fight off annoying and unprofessional debt collectors.