What To Do When Debt Collectors Will Not Stop Calling It is something that has happened to many people. Non stop phone calls at all hours of the day, often beginning as early as 8am and continuing throughout the day until late at night, sometimes as late as 10pm. These debt collectors have no shame. They will call every day, seven days a week. They will call your home phone, your cell phone, work phone, and in some instances even friends and relatives. They will lie, falsely accuse and make untrue and threatening statements in order to scare you into paying what they claim you owe them. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or the FDCPA as it is commonly referred to was established to protect you as a consumer. It outlines what laws and procedures these collection companies must follow, and what your rights are as a consumer. Many times people begin to receive these threatening phone calls without any knowledge of any outstanding alleged debt owed to anyone. A quick look at your credit reports will often reveal that these collection companies have indeed placed an account on your credit, which can dramatically reduce your credit score. A single collection account can impose a 40 â€“ 120 point score drop in some situations. The FDCPA states that these collection agencies must provide you with a written notice of the alleged debt, giving you 30 days to respond and question the validity of the claim. Only after that 30 day window passes may they place the account on your credit. The written notice must state that they are a debt collection agency, and it must also state that they are attempting to collect a debt. The notice must also contain their full company name as well as accurate and current contact information. Many times these letters will contain a settlement offer, with them agreeing to accept a percentage of the total amount due. Many consumers, unaware of their rights just pay these companies when in fact the debt may not actually be theirs. There are several collection companies that practice illegal methods to attempt to extort money from consumers. They are known to add fees to the alleged balances owed as well as increase the original debt amount. Some companies even try to collect debts in states that they are not properly licensed to do business in, which is a major violation. Another thing they do is imply that they are a law firm, when in fact they are not and do not have attorneys working for them. The term spoofing refers to changing the incoming caller ID number or name in an attempt to get the person to answer; this is also not allowed; yet several collection companies do this on a daily basis. They will chance the number to represent a local number in your area code hoping that you will pick up, as many will not answer random 800 numbers or callers marked as unknown. Some will even manipulate the display name to make it appear that it is another person or company calling you. These are all prohibited.
There are several things you can do to stop the harassing phone calls and put an end to collection agencies that are operating illegally and trying to collect alleged debts. If you do receive a written notice, read the fine print. It should let you know that you have 30 days to respond in writing. Do not delay, and do that right away. Ask them for proof that you are the individual that this alleged debt belongs to. Whatever you do, never give them any personal identification information such as your social security number or date of birth. They will often call and try to get that information from you. Under no circumstance give them that information. You can also send them a cease and desist letter demanding that they stop calling you at home, on your cell phone and at work; instead, insist that they only communicate with you through the US Postal Service. This will put an end to the harassing phone calls. If you can catch these collection companies violating the FDCPA you can sue them in court. Each violation is worth $1,000. It is advised that you keep a very detailed journal of all communication. Keep track of each time they call, what the caller ID reads, the number they call from, and where they call you. It is very important that you keep very detailed notes. Also, make notes of every conversation, including the individuals name, what they say, etc. and if they threaten you at all. The more detailed, the better you will stand in court. There are several Attorneys that will take on cases against collection companies with no out of pocket expense from you. They will only get paid if you receive compensation from the collection companies. A detailed call log and notes will help your cause and enable an easy victory if the collection agency is in violation of the FDCPA. If you have several collection accounts on your credit reports and you do not have time to research them and put together a game plan, then you can seek out the help of a credit repair company. Their experience dealing with these collection companies throughout the years gives them the upper hand. Combined with past experiences, the law, and your individual situation, they will be able to work on having them removed from your credit reports. It is a process that requires a lot of time, so if you do not have the time to do it correctly then reach out and obtain professional help. Of course, there is no guarantee that they will be able to remove all collection accounts, but their knowledge will be used to get you the best possible results. The combination of the FDCPA, your consumer rights, state and federal laws, the BBB, the FTC and Attorney Generalâ€™s will all be used to have inaccurate, incorrect, unverifiable and questionable collection accounts deleted from your credit reports.