Lawmakers have tried to reduce the volume of creditor harassment, but at the end of the day, many organizations encourage creditors to practice unfair tactics. According to one study, 40 percent of people in debt received at least four creditor calls a week, which constitutes harassment.
There are numerous actions creditors take that are harassment. These include threatening a child custody agreement, calling you at work and calling you late at night. Here are some steps you can pursue to end harassment.
Keep a level head
As tempting as it may be, never yell at creditors over the phone. It will only reflect negatively on you if those transcripts go to court. Politely inform the caller of your rights and to call you back at a more convenient time.
Maintain records of each call
You can record each phone call on your own if you want to bring transcripts to an eventual court case yourself. You can also stick with writing down the caller's name. These notes will become an invaluable resource if you want to file a complaint.
Request verification of debt
Another action you can take is to ask the creditor to verify your debt with you before you proceed. This information must come in writing, and it should include:
- Name of creditor to whom you owe debt
- Amount of said debt
- Information related to how you can dispute the debt
- Information on the process of verifying and identifying debt
Typically, the creditor needs to provide all this within 30 days. During those 30 days, the creditor cannot contact you at all.
Outright tell creditor to stop
If all else fails, then send a letter to the collection agency telling them to halt all phone calls and letters. Written communication has more power under the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act as opposed to telling the person over the phone.
Filing for bankruptcy enacts an automatic stay, and the creditors will then have to stop calling you. You may want to talk to a bankruptcy attorney to determine if this step is right for you.