It is very annoying to have your phone ring every minute of the hour and you know that it is merely calls from a bill collector who can’t wait to harass you for money. They call relentlessly and without shame at odd hours of the morning and evening and if you should mistakenly answer the call, the threats that ensue leave you boiling with rage.
Did you know that one in every seven Americans is frequently harassed by a debt collector?
You should know your rights and be informed about how and where to report the abuse they are inflicting on you and your time. You don’t have to take it in any way. They have a way of trying to intimidate you so that you cave in to their demands. Some people do, for others is a heated exchange of words that may go on forever.
If this is happening to you, then you need to know the following:-
You have the right to complain
If calls from a bill collector are persistently coming in to your workplace before 8a.m and after 9pm, then you have the right to tell the bill collector that your employer does not allow it and it is written under company policy that they should not call the office. The bill collector has no choice but to cease and desist. These calls from a bill collector are aimed to trick you into giving them your bank details so that you can pay and schedule a time the money will be taken out of the account.
If they are to the point you can’t take it anymore, you can write a letter to the debt collector asking them not to contact you again. According to the Fair Trade Commission (FTC), they have to comply. The only instances they can write you is when they are letting you know that they have no intention of contacting you again or if they are informing you that they are going to take on another approach in pursuing their money I.e., A lawsuit.
However, sending them a letter to stop calling you does not imply that you are exempt from the debt they are calling you about. If they should file a lawsuit against you, don’t ignore it. Show up for the court date and that way, there will be more leniency for the debt. A complete no show is an automatic win for the debt collector.
You can report them to:-
- The Association of Credit and Collection Professionals
- The State’s Attorney General
- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Legally, you have rights
You are not meant to be harassed or intimidated in any way by calls from a bill collector. They are also not supposed to threaten or make you feel inadequate for whatever debt they are trying to get you to pay.
These practices are illegal and end up creating a stressful attitude for the one being called all the time. Their aim is to make you feel so anxious and miserable that you end up caving in to their demands. Nobody should be treated in that manner and they don’t have any right to do so.
Calls from a bill collector are meant to put fear in your heart. The way they speak to you makes one think that you basically have no choice but to comply. But that is not true. They know of your rights more than you do and they use every applicable angle to their advantage.
If you owe them money
If you get calls from a debt collector urging you to pay your debt and you are capable of paying, then go ahead and do so. Go into negotiation mode and ask to pay a smaller amount that you are able to afford. At this point, they will be more than eager to work with you because you are coming to terms about your debt and you are ready to pay.
If you know you don’t owe them any money
It is not uncommon to get calls from a debt collector that thinks you are the person who owes them debt. Sometimes, there are cases of mistaken identity and you have nothing to do with the debt they are pursuing you for. Unfortunately, in this case, it is not innocent until proven guilty. It is actually guilty until proven innocent. Unless you vigorously follow the whole issue, you might end up inheriting the debt of someone else.
They will come after you with a vengeance, once they get you into court, especially if you have huge debt, so it is better to make a settlement out of court and arrange for a payment plan. Calls from a bill collector need to be handled tactfully well.