Debt collectors are not known for their pleasant ways. Most border on the brink of harassment and threats. As a consumer it is our job to keep them honest when dealing with debt repayment issues. Besides getting out of debt we must also worry about handling the situation with grace and dignity.
Know Your Rights
Just because you owe a creditor money does not make you a bad person or one who should be bullied for your situation. Most consumers are not aware that they have many rights when dealing with creditors. First, you don’t have to deal with a debt collector or third party company. You have the right to request they cease communications with you and deal with your creditor directly. Next, you don’t have to put up with threats or abusive language. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, debt collectors are supposed to follow strict guidelines about how and when they can collect on a debt. Get to know what is and is not acceptable in debt collections. Last, you can protect yourself. Not only can you report violators but you have the right to hire representation to protect you from debt collectors. A debt negotiation attorney can help you enact a legal order to prevent collectors from making contact.
The Federal Trade Commission operates to protect consumers and investigate claims of rule violations. While there are strict rules for debt collectors, not all follow them and many more intentionally push the limits on their actions. The FTC does investigate claims, but this requires consumers to participate in the process. Anytime a debt collector violates a collection rule or article of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, you should report it to the FTC. It is important to report the incident in detail so the FTC can conduct a thorough investigation of the incident. In some cases, violators can be held liable for the violation and even be penalized.