Collection agencies are a debtor's worst nightmare. They hound the debtor at any given chance and employ dirty tactics in order to get their money. Fortunately, there are ways to get a debt collector to back off. And for those who insist on breaking the laws, they can be made to back off entirely.
Consumers have protection under federal law due to the FDCPA. It is administered by the Federal Trade Commission, who enforces the laws whenever a debt collector violates them. To be sure that a debt collector is acting illegally, read the act through. It is written in plain English, easily understood by anyone. When the collector violates any one of those laws, the debtor can take legal action.
Start keeping a log whenever harassment takes place. Save messages that are left on voice mail and transfer them over to a more permanent storage space. Document each and every contact. For example, if the collectors are contacting family members and harassing them for debt they have no responsibility for, write it down. That is a blatant violation of law.
Violations of the act by a creditor gives the debtor an opportunity to sue for financial damages. Every violation can cost the collector money each and every time, as well as having to pay the plaintiff's attorneys fees. Consult with a lawyer and bring the evidence log. The lawyer can protect your rights as a consumer under the FDCPA.