When the economy is in decline and job losses are having a serious financial impact on millions of people, many people find themselves in a situation where they are unable to manage their debt. The recent financial crisis has made it even more difficult for people to pay their bills. If you have experienced debt problems, and are being harassed by debt collectors, then you are aware of how it can affect your emotional and physical well being.
Dealing with a vicious debt collector can be an extremely stressful experience. Unfortunately, debt collectors have become even more dishonest and heavy-handed when making collection phone calls Collectors who abuse debtors will engage in such activity as threats, and calling in the mornings, afternoons, and at night many times each day. They will also use profanity and call people nasty names. They can even engage in such harassing activity with a debtors family and employer which can cause a strain on relationships and even run the risk of job termination.
This type of harassment can have a serious impact on one’s health. It can cause a constant state of high anxiety, stress, and increase one’s blood pressure. It can also cause depression, loss of appetite, loss of sleep, and migraines. As well, it can increase irritability and put a serious strain on relationships. The best thing people can do for their health and well being is to stop the harassment.
Although it is the law that a debt collector must stop calling people who send a letter instructing them to do so, there are many collectors who willfully ignore this law. The Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was created to prevent debt collectors from harassing, threatening, and lying to their debtors. When a collector violates the act and engages in bad behavior, the first step you should take is trying to resolve the issue. You should try to arrange an affordable repayment plan. You should also request a copy of your debt statement so you can review it for accuracy. If the collector is unwilling to work with you and the calls continue, you should mail them a letter telling them to stop calling. In legal terms, this is known as a ‘cease and desist’ letter.
After trying to resolve the problem through negotiation and writing a letter instructing them to stop, and the calls continue, the next step would be to meet with an attorney who is well versed in ‘fair debt collections.’ US law mandates that if a debtor has a lawyer, the debt creditor must stop contacting the debtor and communicate only with their lawyer. As well, if the attorney finds that the debt collector has violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, he or she may suggest taking civil action against the collections agency. If you proceed with litigation against the debt collector, you should keep a hand written record of the harassment such as when they called, time of the call, the length of the call, and what the collector said during the call. It would be extremely beneficial to record the phone calls.
The current decline in the economy has left millions of people unable to get themselves out of debt. There are many debt collectors that are now ruthlessly pursuing them. If there is an abusive debt collector that is causing you emotional upset, you need to know that what they are doing is illegal. An attorney with the experience and knowledge about the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act can provide valuable assistance to stopping harassing collection phone calls.