Being in a lot of debt is incredibly scary, and it’s a lot worse if you have debt collectors breathing down your neck. Creditors are ruthless about getting their money back and many people find themselves being harassed by debt collectors. The constant letters and phone calls can soon take a toll on your mental health and if you’re struggling to pay the money back, it only makes the situation worse.
But even though it might feel like a trap you can’t get out of, there are ways that you can stop them from harassing you so you have a bit of breathing room to sort your finances out. Here’s what you can do about debt collector harassment.
If things are getting out of hand, you can contact the debt collectors and ask them to stop calling or writing to you. Make sure that you formally put your request in writing and don’t be polite about it. By law, they have to stop harassing you.
If they continue to call even after the letter, write down exactly when they called (including dates and times) then send another letter asking them to stop. If an old creditor calls after this too – most likely because your number was reassigned – inform them in no uncertain terms which creditor is harassing you and tell them never to contact you again. It’s important that you have all of the contact documented in case you need to take further action.
If they won’t stop contacting you, it’s time to seek legal advice. Get in touch with some attorneys and explain the situation. They may be able to help you deal with the debts by filing for bankruptcy and they can also give you advice about taking legal action against the debt collectors. Your creditors are likely to fight you, so you need some legal professionals behind you.
The Federal Trade Commission and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act are there to protect consumers from debt collector harassment. Simply fill out a short form on their website and explain what’s going on either by phone or in writing. This will be an official complaint which they can use as evidence if the debt collectors don’t stop calling you. If it is decided that they are acting unfairly, they will be ordered to stop contacting you.
The easiest way to get debt collectors off your back is to pay off your debts. You should still follow the other steps on this list because they are acting unlawfully, but you should also take this situation as a sign that you need to change your financial health for the better. By stripping your budget back, you can find the extra money you need to pay down your debts quickly. You then need to change the way that you think about money so you can avoid this situation in the future.
Debt collectors often try to intimidate people into paying but this is against the law. It’s important that you don’t let them scare you and you take steps to fight back against them.