Struggling with financial problems is bad enough. It gets a lot worse if you’re being harassed by creditors. What is considered harassment and what can you do about it?
What Does Harassment Look Like?
Calling at All Hours of the Day
Creditors and debt collectors will often call consumers early in the morning, late at night, or even on weekends in an attempt to catch them off guard.
Not Providing Information about a Debt
Consumers have a right to know how much they owe and who the creditor is, yet many creditors and debt collectors will refuse to share this information.
Sending Intimidating Letters
Many creditors and debt collectors use strong terms in their letters to scare consumers into paying their debts immediately. Sometimes these letters include threats of legal action or wage garnishment if the debt remains unpaid.
Threatening Legal Action
Creditors and debt collectors know that many consumers fear legal action and court. They use this as leverage to encourage you to make a payment.
Calling Friends, Family, and Co-workers
To pressure a consumer into paying, many creditors and debt collectors will call anyone who might be able to help persuade the consumer into paying. They may even contact friends and family members who have no prior knowledge of the debt.
While all of these methods are an attempt to intimidate, coerce, or threaten consumers into paying their debts immediately, consumers must remember that they have rights.
What Can You Do If You’re Being Harassed by Creditors?
Consumers should know their legal rights and the debt collection laws that are in place to protect them. They should also keep detailed records of all interactions with creditors and debt collectors, including:
- Time of contact
- Amount owed
- Who the debt collector contacted
- Discussion about debt
If a consumer feels that a creditor or debt collector violated their rights, they should contact an attorney to discuss their legal options.
If you want to put an end to creditor harassment, there are a few things you can do:
First, you can send a cease and desist letter to the creditor informing them that they are no longer allowed to contact you. This should stop the calls and letters from coming.
If this doesn’t work, you can file a complaint with the consumer protection agency in your area. And if this doesn’t help, you could consider hiring an attorney and filing a lawsuit against the creditor.
Filing for Bankruptcy
Another option to end creditor harassment is to file for bankruptcy. This process can put an immediate stop to any collection calls or letters that are coming your way. And it will allow you to close out all open accounts and get a fresh start. If you’re considering this option, be sure to speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney who can help you through the process.
No matter what route you decide to take, know that you have options when it comes to creditor harassment. You don’t have to put up with it, and you can take steps to stop it.