What to Do About Debt Collectors

Deciding what to do about debt collectors can be tricky. However, the key thing to know is that you do have some options for dealing with them- and you also have some rights.

Tips for Dealing with Debt Collectors

The first thing to be aware of when you are dealing with debt collectors is that the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act places some signifiant limitations on what they can do. For example:

  • Debt collectors may not call you early in the morning or late at night
  • Debt collectors cannot harass or threaten you
  • Debt collectors cannot send things that appear to be legal papers that aren't or tell you they are taking legal action if they don't plan to do so
  • If you ask debt collectors to affirm the debt, they have to stop collections activities until they can show you proof you actually owe the debt

These are just a few examples of the things debt collectors cannot do. If you are being treated unfairly or being bullied by a debt collector, make sure to keep detailed records. The collectors can be fined or sanctioned if they violate these debt collection laws, but you will need to be able to show the violations to protect your rights.

Dealing With Your Debt

Assuming the debt collectors aren't engaging in illegal practices, you are going to have to cope with them at some point. The best way to do that is to try to work out a way to pay the debt. This may involve getting them to agree to a repayment plan. It might involve trying to settle the debt that is owed. It may involve taking a debt consolidation loan. There are options out there, and you should not just ignore the debt- ignoring the problem isn't going to make it go away.

Getting Help

Ultimately, the best way to make the collection calls stop is to take proactive steps to solve the problem. Contact a lawyer to find out what your options and rights are; your lawyer can explain to you what the best course of action is given your particular financial situation.

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