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How To Stop Collection Calls

For those of you who have had to deal with the stress and anxiety associated with receiving a call from a debt collector, this blog is for you. The only thing worse than the constant stress and anxiety associated with the inability to make ends meet is receiving a phone call from someone you’ve never met demanding money that you don’t have. I have heard time and time again from my clients that if they had it to pay, they would pay. And I believe them. My clients are some of the most hardworking, honest people I have ever met. They have fallen on hard times and need the constitutional right they have to a fresh start through bankruptcy. Filing bankruptcy will absolutely stop the harassing creditor calls because when you file bankruptcy an automatic stay goes into effect which prohibits any of your creditors from attempting to collect on their debt while you are in the bankruptcy. This automatic stay brings the full weight of the federal court system down to protect you in bankruptcy. If a creditor continues to contact you they can be sued for violation of the automatic stay.

If you are unsure if you are ready to file bankruptcy, there are other ways to stop the creditor harassment. These tips don’t get rid of your responsibility for the debt like a bankruptcy would, but they will help you get the debt collectors to stop calling. The debt collectors, of course, can take legal action against you but they can’t harass you after you’ve taken the following steps.

The first step is to know your rights. One of the major tools at your disposal, other than filing bankruptcy, is utilizing the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. This act outlines the rights and remedies of consumers dealing with debt collectors. Two important parts of the act specify that, “a debt collector may not engage in any conduct the natural consequence of which is to harass, oppress, or abuse any person in connection with the collection of a debt” and “a debt collector may not use any false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of any debt.” If you have received a call from a debt collector, you probably know that many of these agencies are in violation of these two sections. I have provided a link to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act here. I highly recommend that you read it to fully understand your rights under the law.

The second step is to notify the debt collector that you no longer wish to be contacted by them. The Act provides that “if a consumer notifies a debt collector in writing that the consumer refuses to pay a debt or that the consumer wishes the debt collector to cease further communication with the consumer, the debt collector shall not communicate further with the consumer with respect to such debt.” There are some exceptions to this rule as is stated in the Act, but generally once you have communicated to the debt collector that you do not want them to contact you further, they cannot contact you again unless it is to tell you there are no longer attempting to collect the debt or that they are going to take legal action against you. If you want to notify the debt collector it is best to do so in writing. I have provided a link to a sample cease and desist letter that you can use here.

The third step is to decide how you want to handle the payment of the debt. If you don’t question that you owe the debt then it is important to realize that most times even if the debt collectors stop calling, it doesn’t mean they are going away forever. If you find that you have no ability to pay your debts than your final step should be to contact a reputable bankruptcy attorney.

The Law Offices of Melanie Tavare is a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code


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