How to handle collection agencies when you have a debt in collection
Nobody likes to hear from debt collectors. However, with the rising rate of consumer debt, getting calls from debt collection agencies every now and then is not only normal but much rather expected.
Nevertheless, violations of your consumer rights occur during these interactions and it is important to know when debt collection agencies have stepped beyond their boundaries and what to do in such a situation.
A debt collection representative has violated your rights if:
• They call you repeatedly or ceaselessly
• They call you before 8:00 am or after 9:00 pm.
• They are rude and use offensive, obscene, profane, or abusive words in their communication with you.
• They demand that you pay interest, fees, or any other expenses that are not stipulated by law.
• The collector asks you to pay an amount in excess of what you owe.
• They threaten to sue you, harm you, or destroy your credit. Making such threats is considered an act of harassment.
• They threaten you with an action they can not or will not take.
• They keep calling the wrong person repeatedly.
• They fail to notify you of your right to dispute the debt.
• They illegally inform a third party about your alleged debt.
What should I do?
If any of the above regulations have been violated during your dealings with debt collectors, then you should take the following actions:
• Do not answer calls from strange numbers.
• Don’t engage the caller: many debt collectors make various threats in hope that you will respond emotionally. Do not give them that satisfaction.
• Hang up when necessary: if the collector is being rude or using profane words, does not say anything, or refuses to identify themselves, hang up.
• Save any harassing messages you have received on your voice mail in case you need to present evidence of it in the future.
• Do not disclose personal information, especially to an anonymous caller.
• Ask to put your number on the national Do-Not-Call registry.
• Seek legal advice by calling 877-700-5790. You may be entitled to compensation of up to $1000 or between $500 – $1500 for each harassment charge for violations of the TCPA.