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What Debt Collectors Can And Can’t Do

If you are drowning in debt and receiving daily phone calls from at least one debt collector, it’s important that you know your rights. Thanks to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), there are laws designed to protect you from that unwanted communication.  

What collectors can’t do

The FDCPA spells out several things debt collectors are prohibited from doing. For example, they cannot call you before 8 AM or after 9 PM or call you multiple times a day. In addition, they are not to call you at work without your permission. The collector is also not to discuss your debt with friends or family members and is prevented from misrepresenting the status of a debt or claiming to be affiliated with some governmental entity. 

How to stop those harassing phone calls

According to the FDCPA, you can stop phone calls by sending the debt collector a cease and desist letter. This letter communicates to the debt collector that he or she is not to contact you anymore. You need to send your letter registered mail and return receipt requested so you can prove that it was received. 

What can collectors do?

Once the collector receives this letter, they can only reach out to inform you that they will not be contacting you anymore or to notify you that they plan on taking legal action, such as starting a lawsuit against you.  

If they contact you for any other reason, you can report it to your state’s attorney general’s office or to the Better Business Bureau. And if the harassment continues, you could hire an attorney and try filing a lawsuit against the collection agency. However, this can be difficult as many agencies are headquartered offshore.