How Do I Stop Creditors from Harassing Me?

Most of us have access to credit cards that will give a large amount of credit, and usually have a higher than average interest rate when you do not pay off the balance. In a perfect world, we would all like to be debt free; however, life happens and now you find yourself unable to pay your credit card bill or your car payment, and the collectors begin calling you on a regular basis. 

There are some ways you can address the issue without having your account turned over to a collection agency. 

1.Realize you have an issue before it turns into a real problem.
Pretending you do not have a problem will not make it disappear. Contact the credit card company or other creditor and discuss your financial situation, explaining why you cannot make your payments. Talk to them about when you may be able to start making payments. Many creditors will work with you and help develop a plan to get you back on track. Most companies would rather have some money than nothing.

2. If your creditor is not willing to work with you to develop a plan to repay and your debt is turned over to a collection agency that starts regularly harassing you, compose a letter to the collection agency and ask them to cease contacting you. A federal act called the Fair Debt Collection Practices (FDCPA) states that attorneys and collection agencies have to stop calling and bothering you once they get a letter from you asking that they stop doing so. This letter should also contain any illegal activity that has been committed on the part of the collection agency. A copy of this letter should be kept for yourself and another copy sent to:

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
6th & Pennsylvania Avenue  NW
Washington DC 20850

You may still receive another letter from the collection agency telling you they received your request. They may state they will no longer be contacting you or that they have begun legal proceedings against you to recover the debt. Understand the FDCPA only covers attorneys and collection agencies, not collection departments that are in-house. There are still many in-house departments that will also honor your letter. 

3. If after you send the letter you are still getting harassing phone calls or letters, it is time to contact an attorney. A letter with a legal letterhead may do the trick. Also, when you employ the assistance of an attorney, the debt collectors or their attorneys must communicate through your attorney and not directly to you. 

An attorney can examine your situation and determine if the collection agencies have violated any of the provisions of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act.

Attorneys are experienced in dealing with collection agencies use harassment and intimidation tactics to collect debts. Your lawyer will be the recipient of any attempts to contact you and will work to protect your rights.