Stop Collection Calls

FinanceMortgage & Debt

  • Author Michael Brazier
  • Published January 11, 2010
  • Word count 697

Education is empowerment. The pen is indeed mightier than the sword and knowing your rights against harassing collection calls could not only save you stress and aggravation, but possibly some pocket change.

If you've ever been late with a credit card payment you understand how aggravating collection calls can be. Most of these cold call collectors make minimum wage with high commissions for payments they receive from consumers by making idle threats and sometimes falsifying information, exaggerating the severity of the delinquency and the consequences to follow. Most consumers don't realize this though and think that the threats are real and their tactics are legit, mostly due to inflicted guilt and fear for already being late in the first place. So how can you tell when a collector has extended their power against your rights as a consumer and is breaking the law? Well, by research! But were going to make it real easy for you with these easy basic guidelines to look for and understand when dealing collection calls and creditor harassment and your rights under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA).

First and foremost, a collector may only contact you at a time reasonable and convenient for you. An assumable acceptable time frame is considered between 8am and 9pm. You shouldn't be receiving calls to collect on a debt before then or after. To further, if a collector calls you and you advise them that -this is an inconvenient time- they must abide by said advisement and adjust their tactics accordingly. In addition, during working hours you can advise a collector that you cannot receive calls at work. After this has been documented with your verbal advisement, additional efforts made during your business hours is in violation of your rights under the FDCPA.

Skip tracing. This is when a collector uses outside information obtained from third parties in an effort to establish contact information. In no instance are they permitted to disclose to family member, friends, neighbors, etc WHY they are calling or demean you in any way .

The degree of harassment is broad but there are certain limits to their efforts in accordance with your rights. Oppressive or abusive behavior, the threatening of violence or criminal acts, and use of profanity and obscenities are violations of the Act.

A collector must identify to you their name OR name of employer, reason for the call and your Mini-Miranda rights before going into the collection effort. An example of what the Mini-Miranda act should sound this:

This is an attempt to collect a debt. Any information will be used for that purpose. If you dispute the validity of this debt you have 30 days to notify us of such

If you are not provided the Mini-Miranda at the beginning of the call the collector is quite possibly in direct violation under the Act. Kindly get their name, company name, and any other information you can to document and advise that they are violation of your rights under the FDCPA.

Collectors are not permitted to provide falsified or misleading statements in an effort to collect a debt. Mass produced collection letters not reviewed by an attorney prior to mailing are considered false and deceptive. False affiliations such as claims of being an attorney or connected to the government or IRS are also violations.

You always have the option to dispute the debt as well in the initial contact. Request they send written documentation to validate the debt. They then are required to send proof of the debt within ten business days. Upon receipt, you are entitled to dispute the debt in writing within 30 days. If they cannot provide proof of the debt within the allotted time it can then be disputed directly to the credit bureau for removal off your credit report.

Having your debts managed by a debt consolidation company can also stop harassing phone calls, creditor fees, and fix credit over time. For more information on how you can protect yourself from harassing collection tactics email me or visit our website. We're a non-profit credit counseling organization recognized by the BBB as an A+ business. To speak to our certified credit counselors call 800-905-1563.

Credit counselors work with consumers to assess their financial situation and determine what their best option may be. www.freedomdm.org

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