Fair Debt Collection Practices

by : Bob Guy

If you have debt and you're living paycheck to paycheck, then you need to be aware of what could happen if you lose your job. When you miss a payment on a credit card or loan, then the companies you owe will start the debt collection process. Let's say that you can't pay. You've lost your job and there is simply no way that you can make your payment anytime soon. Even if you still have your job, the collection calls can start to pour in at home and at work.. If you've had it with harassing phone calls, then read on to learn about your rights and the correct way to handle debt collection calls.

First of all, you should make every effort to pay as much as possible, as often as possible. If you make even a minimal payment, it can help stop the collection efforts from disrupting your life or embarrassing you at your place of employment. Keep in mind that debt collectors do have a right to call you and try to collect their payments. If the process seems excessive, then you may be interested in the laws set to protect you from harassment from debt collectors. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act outlines your rights.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act states that you have the right to request that you only be contacted by mail for debt collection efforts. You may only need to verbally request not to be called at home or work anymore, but your best bet is to send a certified letter outlining your request. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act does not apply to your regular credit card companies. It only applies to actual debt collection agencies or attorneys attempting to recover funds from you.

Usually the credit card company itself will only attempt to collect from you a few times before turning your account over to their attorney or to a debt collection agency. If your credit card company is harassing, then the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act won't help you. But, you can quote your state law when asking them to stop calling and only write instead. Most states require that credit card companies stop collection calls once they are notified in writing, usually by certified letter, and utilizing this law can help you stop collection calls.

Even after you send a certified letter asking to only be contacted by mail, credit card companies, attorneys and debt collectors are still allowed to call you under certain circumstances. If the status of your account changes, then they are allowed to call and inform you. Debt collection agencies can phone to tell you that they are turning over your account to an attorney. Attorneys and/or debt collection agencies can call to let you know if they are suing you for the debt that you owe.

Try to work with the companies that are attempting to collect from you. If you take all of the appropriate steps and the harassing calls do not stop, then you may have the legal right to sue them for damages.