Are you in debt? Are you so behind on your payments that your creditors have passed your accounts on to collection agencies? If the answer to these questions is yes, you are not alone. This is something that numerous Texas residents are struggling with right now.
The truth of the matter is, at some point in most people's lives, financial struggles occur. A lot of times this happens due to circumstances beyond their control. Creditors do not care why you cannot pay your bills, however. They just want to get their money. This often leads to creditor harassment that gets out of hand.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, you are protected from creditor harassment by a little something called the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The FDCPA simply gives guidelines as to what creditors can and cannot do as they attempt to collect the money owed them. Current laws state that creditors may not:
- Threaten your person, your job or your home
- Threaten to file criminal charges
- Speak to you using foul or inappropriate language
- Call your home, work or family members at all hours of the day
- Collect more than what you owe
- Make false statements
If you are a victim of creditor harassment, you do not have to sit by and take it. You can request that it stop.
How to stop it?
Report, report, report. If you fail to report the issue, nothing will be done about it. After you send a written notice requesting that it stop, creditors cannot contact you until they send you written verification of the debt they say that you owe. If you are in the process of filing for bankruptcy, after submitting your petition, creditors cannot contact you until the court makes a decision in your case.
There are certain things that creditors can do in order to seek payment. These include:
- Contact you via phone between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.
- Send you frequent letters, emails and texts
- Contact you as much as they like within the allowed time frame as long as they are not threatening you
Before the frequent attempts to contact you begin, collectors must tell you who they are and what debt they are seeking to recover.
Get help if you cannot get it to stop on your own
If you have done everything you can to get creditors to stop harassing you, and it is still a problem, you may take legal action. In doing so, it is possible to hold creditors accountable for their actions and seek some compensation for the distress you have experienced.