Times are tough and the difficult economy has caused financial struggles for many people, even those who were previously diligent about paying their bills on time. Lack of money can cause great hardship and stress on an individual or family and when there is the added stress of debt collector harassment, the strain can be almost too much to bear.
Harassment from debt collectors is a common occurrence nowadays and in fact as the economy has gotten worse, the steps that some debt collectors have taken in trying to collect on a debt has spanned the range from being deceitful to outright illegal.
However, there are ways to stop debt collector harassment and thus will help to alleviate some of the pressure that comes about when there is difficulty in paying the bills on time. Here you will find 5 tactics to stop debt collector harassment.
Talk to the Debt Collector
It is important to make contact with the debt collector at least one time to see if there are any options available for a payment arrangement or settlement. There may or may not be any type of resolution available, but it is important as a first step to open the line of communication and inquire as to any alternative options that may be offered.
Write a Letter
The best proof of declaring your desire to have a debt collector cease contact is by putting it into writing and although regular mail would seem sufficient enough, it is not. It is imperative to send the request in writing by certified mail and also pay for a “return receipt” which verifies that the debt collector received the notification. Once the debt collector receives your letter, they may not contact you again with the exception that they inform you they are ceasing contact or they are taking some type of legal action against you.
Record Phone Conversation
When a debt collector calls, inform the debt collector at the very beginning of the phone conversation that you will be recording the conversation. Let the debt collector know that the conversation is being recorded as proof for filing a formal complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and the State Attorney General. When a debt collector is informed their conversation is being recorded as evidence for filing a complaint, they typically will not want to be recorded and will not agree to the recording thus terminating the conversation.
Contact the BBB
The Better Business Bureau can be very helpful in resolving debt collector harassment and can serve as the middle ground between the consumer and the debt collector. A complaint can be filed online with the BBB along with a series of questions that need to be answered by the consumer about the case so that Better Business Bureau is able to sufficiently address the complaint submitted. The BBB will make contact with the debt collector and will share the issues of the complaint, wait for a period of time for a response and attempt to make a resolution.
Hire an Attorney
If the debt collector harassment becomes relentless and previous tactics to stop the debt collector have failed, it is time to hire an attorney. Your attorney will contact the debt collector directly and inform them that you now have representation; once this communication takes place the debt collector is no longer legally able to contact you and must go through your attorney.
Attempting to pay debts is not easy and financial struggles create great hardship, the added anxiety which debt collectors can bring on is not necessary and taking action to stop debt collector harassment is essential for ones well-being and state of mind.
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