Being in debt is an incredibly stressful situation. You can be worried about losing your home, having your utilities shut off and being in debt forever. On top of this, you may also be struggling with job loss or difficulty finding a job, medical care and other situations that often contribute to debt.
The last thing anyone in this situation needs it to be harassed by creditors. Sadly, many people are targeted and mistreated by collections agents who cross the line when attempting to collect a payment. If you are dealing with creditor harassment, there are a few important things you should know.
- Creditor harassment is wrong. There are specific guidelines in place that dictate what debt collectors can and cannot do. These guidelines are detailed in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Essentially, they state that a debt collector cannot do things like make threats against a debtor or repeatedly call the person in an effort to abuse or annoy him or her.
- You can take action against a harassing creditor. If you are the victim of harassing behavior, make sure you document it and write them a letter asking them to stop. You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. You may also have grounds to sue the debt collector.
- You can put a stop to debt collection calls. Even if a debt collector doesn’t cross the line into harassing conduct, the calls can still be annoying, scary and stressful. Filing for bankruptcy can put an immediate stop to collections efforts. Once you file, an automatic stay is in place and prevents creditors from taking action against you.
Debt is stressful enough without the added anxiety and embarrassment of being called by debt collectors. Once these calls start, you can find yourself scared to answer the phone and dreading opening the mail.
You do not have to suffer through this alone, though. You can consult an attorney who can help you stop creditor harassment and pursue debt relief options, including bankruptcy. With some support and guidance, you can get back on your feet and regain control over your finances and your future.