Got Debt? Stop Creditors From Harassing You
If you are unable to work a deal with your creditor, and your phone is constantly ringing because of a harassing collection agency, write a letter requesting that the collector stop contacting you. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), debt collection agencies and attorneys must stop contacting you after receiving a letter requesting that they quit.
After you send this letter, collectors may only contact you to acknowledge receipt of the request, to tell you their efforts have ended or to tell you that they are suing you. However, you should note that the FDCPA only applies to collection agencies and attorneys - it does not apply to in-house collection departments. Having said that, though, many creditors will honor the request.
If your letter fails to end the harassment, a letter from a lawyer usually will. Additionally, once you have hired a lawyer, the collection agency or creditor's attorney must only communicate to you through your lawyer.
Under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, it is illegal for debt collectors to do the following:
- Contact your employer or neighbors about your debt (they may only contact them to locate you, but may not mention the debt)
- Call you late at night or at unreasonable hours
- Call you at work
- Call you repeatedly
- Engage in deceptive conduct
- Calling you without disclosing the collector's identity
- Use obscene, derogatory, or insulting remarks
- Threaten arrest or loss of child custody or welfare benefits
- Publish your name
- Use any communication, language or symbols on envelopes or postcards that indicate that the sender is in the debt collection business
- Threaten self-help repossession without legal right or present intent to do so
If the collection agency is violating any of these laws, you may be able to sue them for damages, your attorney fees, plus an additional $1,000.00.
McLaughlin Law is a next-generation legal office serving Minneapolis, St. Paul, and the surrounding suburbs. If you'd like to chat, give us a call.