Debt Collectors Crossing the Line
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- By Stacey Bumpus
- September 23, 2010
Collection agencies are getting a bad reputation these for taking on abusive debt collection practices–and rightly so because most complaints are founded in truth. While all debt collectors don’t utilize negative tactics to collect money, some are very guilty of crossing the line. If you think you’ve been a victim of this type of activity, you’ll want to read more about what can be done to stop it from going too far.
Why Debt Collectors are Going too Far
You may be wondering why debt collectors take on tough strategies to collect money from you. For instance, they may threaten to sue you, arrest you, garnish your wages or even take your home–none of which most are remotely capable of doing.
So why would they say they can if they really can’t? They know most people are unaware of their rights. They prey on those who know they owe old debts and will do anything to avoid bad things happening as a result. If they threaten you with very little time to act, or even think, for that matter, you will hurry up and gather the money to pay them before finding out you don’t even have to give them a dime.
How to Stop Debt Collectors from Crossing the Line
So now that you know that collection agencies don’t have the right to take on abusive debt collection practices to get your money, it’s time to learn how you can stop it from happening to you.
First, if a debt collector calls you, remain calm. No matter what threats they throw your way, you first want to ask them to send you documentation in the mail regarding the debt and then ask them to stop calling you (look for a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act script for what to say). If they refuse to stop calling, you can send them a certified letter acknowledging your FDCPA rights. Also, you can let them know you plan to report their activity to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and your state’s Attorney General’s office.
If the activity still doesn’t stop, file a complaint with FTC (www.ftc.gov) and contact the Attorney General’s office. Also, there are scam sites online that allow you to warn others of illegal activities.
You don’t have to put up with abusive debt collection practices. By learning your FDCPA rights and taking action when necessary, you can once and for all stop debt collectors from crossing the line.
Photo Credit Vitor Lima