I don’t think any person wants to be harassed by debt collectors. How do they harass you? Well, it all starts with a phone call, then multiple phone calls throughout the day. Then they call up your family and friends, perhaps even your employer. After that, it’s the knocks on the door, they keep visiting your home. And about that time, when you think enough is enough, they threaten you with legal consequences.
Debt collectors are more than a pain and an annoyance. So what can you do against them? Well, a lot. As a consumer, you have many rights and you need to assert them when they are violated.
A debt collector can only call you if you have first received a notice from the lender agency on how much debt is owed and the name of the lender; and it only six days after your receive the notice that a debt collector is allowed to call you.
Furthermore, they are allowed to contact you only three days in a week, and they can’t call on holidays.
Who else can they contact?
No one else. Your finances and debt is your personal business. They can’t contact your employer, partner, father, or mother. In fact, next time you pick up a call from them, say you are someone else. They will either cut the call, or break the law and tell you about the debt issue.
By law, debt collectors can be persuasive and demand the debt payment. Beyond that, they can’t do anything. Abuses and threats are uncalled for. At the start of every conversation or call, you can say that you are recording the conversation. This will force the debt collector to think twice about the language he chooses.
Check the License
When the debt collector contacts you, find if it is licensed. If the agency isn’t licensed, you are not obligated to talk to them. Furthermore, all debt collection agencies must be licensed under the FAIR Trading Act. Find out the license number, agency name and address. Note the information and get it check.
If the collection agent visits your home, ask to see some form of identification.
Ask them to Contact your Representative
If nothing seems to work, then you can ask the debt collector to get in touch with your representative. It can be you lawyer, accountant, or debt consultant. Your representative will protect your rights and acts as a buffer between you and the agent to protect you from unnecessary harassment.
You can also threaten the debt collector back. As a consumer, you assert your rights and can take the debt collection agency to a consumer court.
Most debt collection agencies are aggressive in their collection method, and don’t mind toeing the line, and maybe even crossing it. Reason? Most consumers are aware of their rights. So assert your rights.