Many people do not know that they have rights against the harassments that they are suffering from collection firms. Then, you should be reminded that the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was passed in 1977 in order to protect you from such mean debt collectors. So if you think you cannot stop collection agencies, you are wrong.
You are considered a debtor once you owe money through personal loans, you use your credit cards or you are paying on a real estate mortgage. If ever you fail in repaying your lenders or if there are errors on your accounts, then a debt collector may contact you. But in either situation, you should bear in your mind that the FDCPA mandates the collection firms to treat you fairly and avoid some methods of debt collection.
As a customer, you should always be aware of your rights in debt collection. Don't forget that the collection agencies are not permitted to:
o harass you in any means.
o contact you before 8:00 am or after 9:00 pm, unless they have your permission. They also can't contact you at unreasonable or inconvenient time and places.
o speak to you in an abusive way. They can not use absence language.
o call your relatives or friends and collect from them the payments for your past-due debts
o call you at your workplace especially if your superior does not allow non-work related phone calls
How to Stop the Collection Agency from Contacting You
You can stop a debt collection agent from contacting you by writing the agency and telling them to stop. Upon receiving your letter, they may not call or contact you again except from saying that there will be no further contact or if they will notify you that the creditor or the debt collector plans to take certain actions. Just note however that the letter you sent does not mean that you refuse on paying your debts.
Experiencing a debt collection abuse or harassment? Then here are some steps that you should take to stop collection agencies from treating you badly:
1. Don't entertain the phone calls. If you notice that the ones who are calling are the debt collectors, then hang up the phone or make them stop from calling you by writing a "cease and desist" letter. If you send such type of letter, be sure to put your name, account number and address and tell the agency to stop contacting you about that debt
2. Keep records. If you take the phone calls, be sure to jot down everything including the times, dates, name of the person who's calling and a summary of your conversation. If the law in your state allows it, then have your conversation recorded. Try to tell them that you are taping the call, and you'll just notice that they will behave well.
3. Make negotiations about your terms of payment. Discuss with the agency how you will pay your debt.
4. Be familiar with the laws in your state. There are some places wherein garnishment and seizure of properties are illegal, giving you an extra power to work out certain deal. In order to understand the laws well and to be able to know the things that are allowed and isn't allowed, consult the Attorney General's office in your state or the state consumer protection office.
5. File complaints. If, upon understanding your rights, you believe that the collection agent has violated any of them, then contact the FTC of the governing office in your state and formally file a complaint. It is important to have files or documents that can back up your claims of harassment.
6. Sue the debt collection firm. If you found out that the agency really violated you rights, then you can sure them. If you won, you can ask them to pay you for punitive and actual damages. You can also recover the courts costs and the attorney's fee.
So if you are among the persons who are presently experiencing the discomfort of threatening letter and phone calls, then you can take comfort by knowing that you always have the authority to stop collection agencies from doing such harassment. Every debtor has this right. The only problem is that most of them don't know it.