Many people with medical, loan or credit card debt have suffered humiliation, harassment and verbal abuse at the hands of debt collectors. Going through a financial hardship is difficult enough as it is without having to deal with bullying and unfair collection tactics by debt collectors. You will see how you can stop debt collector calls in this article.
Debt collectors unfairly target many consumers for money that they don’t even owe. Recently widowed, Lynn Dingwall suffered harassment from a debt collector for months. According to Fox News Kansas City, the debt collector called Dingwall’s home telling her that she owed $10,000 for a credit card bill. Dingwall said that the credit card debt was not hers, but she couldn’t get the collector to stop harassing her. The collector was relentless.
Finally, Ms. Dingwall told her son what was happening. He wrote a letter to the debt collector and informed them that the debt did not belong to his mother. Dingwall’s son asked them to stop bothering her. Rather than stop harassing Ms. Dingwall, the debt collector sued her.
Dingwall’s lawyer proved that the debt was not hers. It belonged to her late husband and was in his name only. The two had completely separate finances. Right after her husband passed away, the collector took her husband’s name off the account and put it in Ms. Dingwall’s name.
At court, the collector could not say why that happened. The collector lost the lawsuit, and Ms. Dingwall countersued them for violating the Fair Debt Collection and Practices Act for going after her for a debt that she did not owe.
How To Stop Collection Calls
As the above story illustrates, consumers have rights when it comes to debt collection. Debt collectors must abide by specific laws. If they violate a debtor’s right, they could be sued in court for FDCPA violations.
The attorney in the above case told Fox News that most consumers don’t know how to stop collection calls because they don’t know the law. The collectors will go to extreme lengths to bully consumers into paying money—sometimes even frivolously suing them.
Many consumers lose against the debt collectors because they don’t even appear for their court date. However, debtors have rights. The FDCPA Laws state that debt collectors cannot harass, threaten, bully, humiliate or oppress debtors.
Here are some of the things that debt collectors cannot do when attempting to collect a debt:
- Harassing you – Debt collectors cannot repeatedly call you. They cannot threaten violence or use obscene or abusive language.
- Threatening to arrest you if you do not pay the debt.
- Attempting to collect a debt that you do not owe.
- Calling you before 8 AM or after 9 PM.
- Threatening to harm you in some way if you don’t pay.
- Continuing to call you after you tell them in writing to stop.
- Calling you at work once you have told them that you cannot take calls at work.
- Calling you directly if you are represented by an attorney.
- Lying to you or deceiving you in some way. For example, telling you that they are a police officer.
- Threatening to report false information on your credit report.
- Threatening to sue you if they don’t have any intention of doing so.
Dealing With Debt Collectors
Do debt collectors keep calling you? Are you wondering what you can do? If you have fallen victim to a debt collector that is using harassment calls or threats to intimidate you into paying, there are things that you can do to put an end to the bullying.
- Understand your rights – You have important rights under state and federal laws. It is essential to talk to an FDCPA lawyer if you do believe that you are being harassed by a creditor. An attorney can help you understand your legal rights.
- Don’t ignore the calls – Your first thought might be to ignore debt collectors if they are calling day and night. However, that won’t make the problem go away.
- Ask them to verify the debt – If you don’t believe that the debt is yours, ask the collector to send you written verification of the debt. They are required to do this per federal guidelines.
- Write a letter – Send a written letter telling the collector to stop calling you. After you send the letter, the collector must stop calling you. This will not make the debt go away, but it will keep the collector from harassing you over it.
Talk to an FDCPA Lawyer Today – Stop Debt Collector Calls
If you are being harassed or threatened over a debt, talk to an FDCPA lawyer today. At Consumer Center for Resources, we connect people to attorneys for legal advice.
Call us at (818) 697-4295 to be connected to an FDCPA lawyer today. The consultation is FREE!