All too often, debt collectors use questionable or deceptive tactics to bully consumers into making a payment. They are not to harass the consumer by placing repetitive phone calls, use obscene or profane language, or threaten violence or harm. Collectors must identify who they are and the creditor they represent. A collector's abusive collection tactics may be illegal under federal and/or state law.
Collection calls are often upsetting and disruptive. Whether the call is received at work, while caring for someone, driving in the car, or simply at an inconvenient time, you may ask the collector to contact you ONLY during certain hours of the day. If the collector continues to harass you with calls, document the collection calls. Make notes of the call by logging the date, time of day, name of collector and agency, caller ID, and details of the phone conversation or message.
Debt collectors may not use false, deceptive or misleading practices in the collection of debt - whether a collector is speaking with you on the phone or sending a collection letter, they may not:
- Falsely state the amount owed
- Threaten a lawsuit or arrest
- Threaten to do something that can not be done legally
- Threaten an action that they have no intention of taking
- Misrepresent themselves as an attorney, if they are not
- Misrepresent the agency as a credit bureau
Collectors must stop calling or sending collection notices if you send them a Cease & Desist letter. Your letter should be sent to the collector by a traceable means, such as Certified Mail, Return Receipt. It is important that you have documentation showing that the collector received your letter. If the collector continues to contact you after receipt of your Cease & Desist, your consumer rights may have been violated.
Sending a Cease & Desist letter does not make the debt go away. Often, the creditor will re-assign the collection to a new collection agency or law firm.
If you have received collection letters, phone calls, or text messages from a collector, Flitter Milz will evaluate the collection contact for compliance with the consumer laws. If the collector has violated the law, legal action may be taken against the collector, usually at no cost, whether you owe the debt or not.