How to Handle Abusive Debt Collectors

Feb 8, 2010   //   by sam   //   Personal Debt  //  Comments Off on How to Handle Abusive Debt Collectors

It is common sense that more and more people have unpaid and accumulated financial obligations that lead into people finding themselves in debt. As a consequence, creditors frequently call them in order to pay up. But similarly, we can talk nowadays about more and more complaints regarding abuses coming from the collections agencies.

This is because people who are in debt are vulnerable, they are between wind and water, and they generally do not know how to handle abusive debt collectors. So for those who are annoyed with harassing debt collector calls, who feel pressured or even threatened, there are some useful tactics to keep in mind!

First of all, try to make yourself aware of the collecting agents’ behavior which suggests that the more pressuring they are, the most success will come out. Collectors believe that what they are doing (such as harassing calls and threats) actually helps in their bids to collect people’s debts on behalf of their clients, or from our point of view, the lenders. Such collection agencies would do anything, from very frequent calls to taking the borrower to courts. They also make use of psychology among the many strategies they use, which can be an explanation why they put focus on harassing people.

So in order to be efficient against debt collectors, people should learn the techniques referring to dealing successfully with such agencies, otherwise they have a few chance to handle the pressures. Keep in mind that the most important rule is the following: do not panic! Debtors should get the chance to contest the claim with the help of a written verification. This should contain the name of the debt collector who urged for payment, the owed amount, and everything that seems to be disputable in the account-statement. Debtors are also recommended to find a reliable credit counselor, who can implement an appropriate settlement that seems to be acceptable both for you and for the collector.

Nevertheless, do not take anything to be personal, meaning that collectors do not have problems especially with you. They do their jobs. It is their obligation to remind people of their dues through frequent collection calls. For some people these calls are so annoying, embarrassing or disturbing that they panic, and do not know what to do. But there are a plenty of options.

First, people can try to stop the collection calls by writing them a letter with such instructions. One is advised to save a copy of that letter and get evidence somehow that the other party received the letter. If they still keep calling you, this means they violate legal rules by using harassing and unfair debt-collection practices. But if one manages to stop the letters, this means that collectors can only communicate with them via letters. These letters have to state the debt’s amount and nature. When answering to such a letter people are advised to be very careful not to write any inappropriate information as these might be used against them. Moreover, people can check whether the information provided by collectors is true.

Second, people should know their rights, such as the term of years for instance within which collectors can file a lawsuit against them. If this period is over, debt collectors lose this right, so practically they cannot make any legal action against you. Such debts are referred to as time-barred debts, and if one finds out he or she has such a debt (so the time period during which collectors can file a suit is over), there is no much to do. Even if they get sued, they cannot be forced to pay, as they may use the time-barred nature of their debts as a defense. People however have to be very careful no to admit that they owe something; otherwise the contract can be extended.

Finally, in order to handle abusive debt collectors efficiently, people are recommended to keep records of everything possible, so of all contacts with one’s collectors. One should save seemingly useless letters for instance, such as letter asking for payment. Moreover, any kind of communication coming from one’s debt collectors should also be preserved. It is also a good idea to keep a note on all the calls, their date, duration, the phone number and the name of the caller. Retain copies of agreements and sent letters as well. These actions are important, as it happens very often that one resolves a problem, but the problem reappears without collectors admitting they have agreed to the solution. So it is always good to track all your accounts, know your rights as well as the history with your debt collectors.

All in all, people who are in debt are not in a good position. But by having a clear debt-elimination plan, and by knowing one’s rights, people can finally succeed. Do not forget that debt collectors are not allowed to call you before 8 am and after 9 pm, which refers to local time, so it is not an excuse that collectors are somewhere else, within another time-zone. Also, do not hesitate to inform collectors if your employer does not agree with their calls at your employment place. Remember, that debt collectors cannot misrepresent their identity as a collector, nor they are allowed to publish your name and address. Moreover, collectors cannot get information from third parties except from your current address or phone number. Similarly, they cannot threaten you with reporting false credit-report information.

Be aware of the fact that if a collector breaks these rules and is abusive, one has legal rights to ask for their supervisors. Make sure to save all kinds of communication (such as voice mails or letters) with detailed descriptions, such as who called, at what time, the duration of the call, the frequency, as well as the topic of the discussion. Many people actually manage to win lawsuits against debt collectors, but only if they have an accurate register of abusive tactics of the collectors.

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