Creditor Harassment

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Bill collectors can be notoriously pushy and rude. Thankfully, you do not have to tolerate their bullying. It is important to clearly understand both your rights and the rights of a collection agency in order to prevent illegal harassment. There are debt collection laws preventing creditors from harassing you – whether through annoying telephone calls, excessive letters, or unwanted personal visits to your home.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has set rules for creditors to follow in all circumstances under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). This act prohibits creditors from the following, among other things:

  • Demanding that you pay more than you actually owe
  • Adding additional fees to the loan agreement
  • Calling repeatedly, during unreasonable hours, or at your workplace if you’ve requested that they stop
  • Using obscene or threatening language
  • Contacting your employer or neighbors about your debt

What can you do if you’re being harassed? Many creditors will intentionally break the rules set by the FTC assuming that debtors do not have the energy to fight back. To avoid and stop unwanted and illegal creditor interaction, consider these tips:

  • Before harassment happens, call and explain why you cannot pay the bill. There may be a way for the creditor to create a repayment plan rather than turning it over to a collection agency.
  • If you receive repeated requests for payment, write a letter to the bill collector requesting that they stop contacting you. Under the FDCPA, they must cease their contacts upon receipt of your letter – except to inform you that they have received it, plan to sue you, or will cease their attempts. Keep a copy for your records and send a copy to this address: Federal Trade Commission 6th & Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20850
  • For really pushy creditors, hire Firebaugh & Andrews for your free consultation.  Once you’ve hired us the bill collector can only contact you through your attorney.
  • As a final resort, file for bankruptcy to eliminate the debt once and for all.

The best way to end harassment is by understanding your rights and acting on them. Then you can work towards paying your debts as your circumstances allow.

If you’re looking for qualified and trusted Metro Detroit lawyers, please call Firebaugh & Andrews for your Free Consultation 734-722-2999