There are a number of important things to when dealing with a debt collector. Some points deserve more conversation, but for the sake of brevity, I’m going to write specifically to the point of getting the phone calls to stop.
Step#1 – What to say when they call
The FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act) provides you a lot of protection as a consumer. One of those rights allows you to request a stop on communication. This section of the FDCPA is a must read.
When a debt collector calls, you can inform them of the following (and then follow it up in writing):
“I am assesing my rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and requesting that all communication regarding this or any other alleged debt be made through the United States Postal Services only. Any attempt to contact me via telephone at my home, work (Beyond the one call to verify employment), relatives, on my cell phone, or any other location that you may have on file will result in me filing a complaint with the Attorney General’s office and the Federal Trade Commission for harassment. Civil and criminal claims will be pursued if appropriate .”
Understand that this verbal request must be followed up by a written request. You should mention the section of the code specifically: 15 USC 1692c(c).
The collector may attempt to get you to discuss the debt through insult. I have heard of individuals being called every name in the book (which is not permissible by law - see examples: Horkey v. JVDB & Associates, and read section 806(2) of the FDCPA) Do not let them bait you into conversation. Simply remind them of your rights and return to the above statement no matter what they say. Do NOT admit to the debt or express your desire to pay the debt. Remember that until the debt has been validated with proper paper work from the original creditor, it remains an alleged debt.
Step #2 – Put it in Writing
You need to put in writing the above verbal request. While the above can and will get them to stop calling, putting it in writing establishes the paper trail that is very important if the calls continue .
A sample letter could be as simple as the following:
CLICK HERE to get the sample letter