Friday, April 17, 2009

how to stop harassment

One of the hardest parts of dealing with debt is the phone ringing off of the hook, with over agressive bill collectors on the other end. No matter what you owe or why you fell behind, you deserve to be treated with respect and you should never put up with verbal abuse from anyone. You do have rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act of 1977. This act was put in place to regulate the collections industry and rid it of abusive collectors and illegal collection tactics.

There are several options that you may pursue in the event that you are the victim of harassment, threats or verbal abuse at the hands of anyone calling you to collect on a debt, whether it is a legitimate debt or not.

The first course of action is to give them a verbal warning. Let them know plainly that if the issue continues, you will be sending them a Cease and Desist Notice. If they truly wish to handle the account on an amicable basis, this should calm them down a bit.

If the warning does not work, make good on your promise by sending a Cease and Desist notice via certified mail. By law, once they have recieved the notice, they can no longer call you at all. The day after they sign for the notice, follow up with a phone call. Explain that you do wish to resolve the debt, but will not tolerate harassment or abuse. Then explain what you plan to do in regards to making good on the debt that they are calling about. Give them a mailing address and set up a time to call them back and continue to work towards resolving the debt.

If these steps do not yield the results that you are looking for, the next step is an Attorney General complaint. You can find their contact info on your state's website. Most states have a form that you simply fill out on line and submit. This will definatley put a halt to the harassment and verbal abuse, but be sure to still contact the creditor in writing and work towards a resloution.

No matter what, never let them get you upset... try to stay calm and level headed. By doing so, you can avoid saying or doing things that may get you into trouble or make your situation worse.
Cooler heads will prevail and with a little patience and some perseverance, your situation will improve and the calls will stop.

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