Bills are past due. The lenders are calling and still you are unable to pay. Finally, the lenders have turned your debt over to collection agencies, third parties who pursue you until payments are made. For this pursuit, the collection agencies receive a percentage of what you have paid. At first it was just the lenders themselves calling you. Now some companies of whom you’ve never heard are on the phone daily. And they do not stop calling no matter how many times you tell them you do not have the money to make payment yet. They may even make veiled threats about garnishing your wages, initiating a lawsuit against you, etc.
Debt collection practices have actually been the subject of much congressional debate in recent years, and there are both state and federal laws regulating their procedures. If you think a debt collector is in violation of any of these laws, you have the right to file complaints with both your state and federal Attorney General’s offices.
If you are on a debt consolidation plan, the debt consolidation company can help stop these calls as well.
- A debt collector may not call you by telephone before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m.
- A debt collector cannot use foul or insulting language
- A debt collector cannot call you at work once your have requested that he not do this
- A debt collector cannot threaten violence or a lawsuit if the original lender does not intend to sue.
- A debt collector cannot continue to call you without sending written notification of the original creditor, and the amount owed, and your method of dispute if you disagree.
- A debt collector may not contact family members, your boss or others about your debt, other than for purposes of locating you.
- If you have notified a debt collector in writing that he/she is not to call you but to communicate only through writing, the collector must follow that request.