Phone calls from collection companies can be extremely unwelcome, especially if you are trying to get on top of your debt without being harassed. Unfortunately, many employees at collection agencies take the opportunity to threaten and harass you as often as possible in hopes you will just send them some money out of frustration. This is how they achieve their quotas. There are numerous laws and regulations in place to protect you from certain types of illegal collection agency behavior, including the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). These laws govern what hours of the day or night they can call, what the collection agent can say to you on the phone, whether they can leave a message or not, whether they can call you at work, and other regulations. Knowing your rights will give you the upper hand and make you aware of when it may be time to file complaints against these individuals or seek advice from an attorney.
The Importance Of Written Notice
Debt collection companies are responsible for providing you an outline of the debt within five days of contacting you. The name of the creditor should be included on this notice and it should give you options for action if you don’t believe you owe the money. If you do dispute the debt, make sure you this in writing as well. Make note of every time you are contacted by the debt collection agency, including the name of the person to whom you speak.
Keep copies of all correspondence with the collection agency, as some agency employees will allege it was never received. Documentation can be a powerful tool in your arsenal when you have followed procedure but the agency has not.
Know Your Rights
Debt collectors are forbidden from a variety of behaviors, but many bank on you not filing complaints or hiring lawyer, so they do it anyway. These include misrepresenting the amount of the debt, harassing you with repeated phone calls, calling you before 8 A.M. or after 9 P.M. without your permission, talking to others in your house about the debt, calling you at work without your permission, or claiming to be an attorney or law enforcement official.
If a debt collector contacts you, keep the conversation short. Document all of the phone calls, the times, and what it said during the call. If a debt collector crosses the line, make note of that and consider filing complains to the necessary authorities.