No one wants to deal with a debt collector, especially when they are experiencing a financial hardship. While it may be tempting to avoid collection efforts in hopes of developing a debt negotiation plan, it is important you answer at least one call. Why? Because they may have information about your account you need to know.
Not A Prank Call
Debt collectors are often privy to information on your account you may be unaware of, like how much is owed, where you are in the collection process and what other efforts have been made toward collecting on your debt. In fact, many people have no idea their account was even delinquent until they received a call.
While communicating with a debt collector at least once is important, it doesn’t mean you have to subject yourself to abuse or harassment. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act protects consumers by prohibiting debt collectors from:
- Calling before 8:00am or after 9:00pm.
- Using threats of violence or abusive language.
- Repeatedly calling or making several phone calls in one day.
- Contacting friends or family members to get in contact with you.
- Making false claims or statements about your debt.
- Reporting inaccurate information about your debt, who they are or their role in the collection.
- Making statements about wage garnishment or repossession in attempt to collect on a debt.
If you have experienced any of these actions from a debt collector, report to the Federal Trade Commission. For more information on the guidelines for debt collectors visit: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre18.shtm