Debt collectors are the worst!! They call incessantly and always at the worst times! They’re rude, insulting and basically a pain in the *ss!!
They’ve been so rude, threatening and offensive over the years that the federal government and most states have enacted some very strict laws that put you in a much better position to deal with these people.
Obviously we can’t explain all debt collection law in a blog post, but between state and federal law, there is a fairly uniform set of things that debt collectors cannot do and which if done, will subject them to civil liability.
The gem here is that many of these things will give you grounds to file a suit against a debt collector. Often that will be enough to make them go away and could even put a few dollars in your pocket.
So here are some things to look for from a debt collector that may just put you in the driver’s seat:
1. Call before 8 am or after 9 pm. or call repeatedly.
2. Contact you after you have advised them not to ( cease and desist)
3. Threaten you with criminal prosecution
4. Use profane or abusive language.
5. Inform an unauthorized third party about your debt.
6. Ignore your demand for verification of the debt.
7. Fail to send a written validation notice within 5 days of initial contact.
If look at this list the one thing that you will notice is that with any claim, there will be a proof issue. Since so many debt collection contacts are by phone, go ahead and accept that if you are being harassed by this sort of thing, you will need to get some way to record the conversations. If you use a cell phone there are plenty of recording apps. For a regular phone, simple recorders will do.
In the next post we’ll talk about the one big thing not listed here – the legal obligation to pay a debt and how trying to collect could in and of itself be a violation.