While creditors have the right to contact you, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act protects you from having to deal with behavior that escalates to harassment. You do not have to put up with that no matter how much you owe. Take these steps to end creditor harassment.
Recognize the signs
First, you must understand what qualifies as harassment. Debt collectors are not allowed to do the following:
- Call you multiple times to annoy or abuse you
- Call others, including your employer
- Use inappropriate or profane language
- Threaten you
- Hide their identity
- Lie to you about what you owe
Thoroughly document all contact with creditors to use as evidence if they begin to harass you.
File for bankruptcy
Filing for bankruptcy will automatically put an end to the communication from debt collectors. If they continue, they are breaking the law and can suffer penalties for the misconduct. In addition, starting the bankruptcy process puts a stay on wage garnishments, foreclosure and repossession. Your assets receive protection until your bankruptcy proceedings are complete, determining what you can keep, what you have to pay and what discharges you are eligible for.
Hire an attorney
Do you not want to file for bankruptcy? Even if you want to choose a different form of debt relief, you can still end creditor harassment by hiring legal representation. Your attorney can mandate that debt collectors stop calling you and call him or her instead. Your lawyer will handle all communication with creditors to ensure compliance with the law. If you do want to go with Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy, it is still advisable to utilize the services of an attorney to prevent costly mistakes and delays.