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While organizations like the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), try to regulate the legal side of debt and keep debt collectors in line, they cannot be everywhere at once.
That’s why it is important that you take control of your own debt problems and know both the legal limitations of debt collectors and your rights.
For a happy life, many cite keeping your personal and professional life separate—this includes your personal debt life. If you have started receiving calls from debt collectors at your place of business, this is a completely unacceptable practice. Tell debt collectors not to contact you at your work. Any collector with a shred of dignity (and one that doesn’t want to end up in court) will comply and quit harassing you at your office. Debt collectors do this in hopes of shaming you into paying off your debt.
Another way in which debt collectors attempt to embarrass you into paying your debt is by fanning your dirty laundry in public. A ‘Friends and Family’ plan is for cell phone carrier plans, not debt collectors. If debt collectors are contacting your friends and family, nip that in the bud, immediately. All attempts to collect a debt should be discussed only between a lender and debtor. You could go so far as to file a complaint with the FTC if they contact someone other than the debt holder.
Another government tool at your dispense is the federal postal service. In a world dominated by technology, debt collectors find it easier to harass you— sorry recover debts—by text message and phone. However, you can request that all future communications be relayed to you through the mail. Fortunately for you, this is a request they must honor.
National Attorney Collection Services, Inc carried out some of the most despicable debt collection tactics back in 2013. From claiming to be a law firm to falsely threatening to have debtors arrested, National Attorney crossed all the lines. Here is a list of the most egregious offences:
- Failing to disclose in the very first text message that the company was a debt collector trying to collect a debt.
- Failing to provide details on the supposed debt the company was attempting to collect, and failing to inform the consumer of his or her right to dispute the debt’s validity.
- Including statements on the outside of the envelopes on postal mailings, noting that the contents relate to an attempt to collect a debt.
Being unable to pay a debt leaves one vulnerable and scared. As most people don’t fully comprehend their rights as debtors, it is easy for debt collectors, as a whole, to take advantage of society. Checking out websites like Legal Vision will offer up advice and helpful information to get ahead of the potential harassment that is almost certain to come to fruition.
The most useful advice to take from this article is that working with debt collectors is a two-way street. If you truly owe the money they are trying to collect, setting up a structured payment plan will ensure their happiness and give them no reason to hassle or harass you.
*Image courtesy of Free Digital Photos