Having debt is not a crime or necessarily a bad thing, although some people think otherwise. So when it comes to debt collections a debtor shouldn't be treated like a criminal.
Consumer Credit Counseling Services was recently asked what consumer can do to stop debt collectors and what their legal rights are as a consumer. We have compiled some topics from the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act here:
How many times can a debt collector contact me?
They may not call you repeatedly or continuously as to annoy, abuse or harass you or anyone using the same phone.
Can they call me at work?
A debt collector can not call you at work if they know your employer disapproves of such calls.
Can they tell others about my debt, such as a boss, coworker, or family member?
A debt collector can only contact other people to find out information about where you live, what your telephone number is, or where you work. They can only contact a third party one time and can not reveal information about your debt.
How can I get a debt collector to stop contacting me?
You can write a letter to the debt collector asking them to stop contacting you. Once they receive the letter, they can not contact you unless it is to say there will be no further contact or legal action has been taken.
Debt collectors can NOT make threats of violence or harm, make threats of wage garnishments, publish a list of people who refuse to pay their debts, use obscene or profane language, or call you without revealing who they are.
If you feel harassed by debt collectors, contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau by visiting consumerfinance.gov. If you feel like you are struggling with debt repayments, call our certified credit counselors by calling 251-602-0011.