Are you aware that you have rights when it comes to debt collection agencies? The following data will help you to understand what can be done when the debtor calls keep coming.
The first and most used method of dealing with those pesky debt collectors is to use caller ID and/or screen the calls.
Are you aware that there are different types of collections? One is either a creditor or a third party debt collector. A creditor is an employee of your bank or credit card company while a third party debt collector is someone who is being paid to collect a debt for the original creditor.
Third party debt collectors are required to follow strict state and federal laws concerning debt collection. This law is uniformly known as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). In the majority of states, the individual state laws are identical to the federal law. Creditors and attorneys whose main business does not relate to the collection of third party debts, are exempt from the requirements of the FDCPA.
OK, back to what your rights are. As the consumer you have the right to inform the collection agency that a particular time or place is an inconvenient one for you to receive collection calls. When this is done, the collection agency must stop calling you, the consumer, at those times and places.
Numerous internet sites which claim to provide self help for consumers promote telling a debt collector it is inconvenient for the consumer to receive any calls from the debt collector. The basis is that in doing so it will serve to stop the calls. This is not actually true. The FDCPA states that a debt collector may not call a consumer at a time or a place it knows is inconvenient for the consumer; meaning the consumerâ€™s work place, or a friend or relativeâ€™s house, or if the consumer works a night shift, in the morning . A consumer cannot designate all such calls as inconvenient.
A consumer can request verification of the debt, or can notify the debt collector that the debt is disputed and the reason for the dispute. A verification request must be sent in writing to the collection agency within 30 days of being first notified of the debt. It is recommended the notification be sent by certified mail so the consumer has proof of mailing and of receipt. Once the debt collector has received the verification request, it must stop all collection calls and letters until it has provided verification of the debt to the consumer. In some cases this is only a temporary fix, but if the debt collector canâ€™t show that the consumer owes the debt or the debt hasnâ€™t been paid, it can serve to stop all future collection activity.
There is a â€œcease and desistâ€? option. The consumer writes a letter to the debt collector informing them to cease and desist from further attempts to contact the consumer regarding the debt or that the consumer refuses to pay the debt. This option does stop all further collection calls or letters; however, it will not prevent the collection agency, or the original creditor, from suing on the debt. Many debt collectors will honor a written request from the consumer to cease further telephone calls to the consumer, allowing for the debt collector to continue sending collection letters.
Today more than ever consumers have rights and options in stopping calls from debt collectors and in managing their current debt. The more you know about your rights, the more effective you will be when you exercise those rights.
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