Debt collection companies have few limits. They call in the morning or evening. They bother you at work, and insist on immediate payments. You try to reason with them and end the call, but you’re shifted to another person who promises to be your best friend and work with you. If you want to end debt collector harassment, you need to take charge of the process and make the collectors play your game.
Initially, you should understand that you have rights under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCRA). Foremost among them are your rights to demand that the collector provide you with written validation of the debt, and that the collection efforts are being done within the time periods established by the applicable statute of limitations. Most, if not all debt collectors purchase old debts from your original creditors, usually for a small fraction of the total value of the debt. Because they deal in high volumes, many of the account debts that collectors purchased are poorly documented. Often the best strategy to stop debt collector harassment quickly is to send a written request to the debt collector for written proof of that you owe the amount that the collectors are demanding you pay. Send this request to the debt collector within thirty days after it first contacts you. As soon as the collector receives the written request, the harassing calls should stop, at least until it provides the requested written validation.
If the collector cannot validate the debt, you are entitled to demand that it stop calling you for collections. In this case, you can also contact credit reporting agencies (i.e. Equifax, Trans Union, and Experian) to dispute any items on your credit report that relate to the debt which the collector cannot validate.
If the debt is legitimate and the collector is able to validate it, then your options will be more limited. Filing for personal bankruptcy may well be your best option to stop all debt collector harassment and to resolve your credit issues in an orderly and manageable manner. As with stopping the harassment from debt collectors, your best strategy is always to take control of the process. A bankruptcy filing can help to put you into a better position of control.
The consumer finance and debt specialist attorneys at the Buettner Law Group have helped hundreds of Minnesota residents to end debt collector harassment and to get back on their feet after they have become overburdened by debt. Please see our website or contact us to speak with one of our attorneys and to see how we can help you as well.