How to Stop Debt Collectors From Abusive Tactics
How Do I Get Collection Companies To Stop Calling Me?
To Stop Debt Collectors, Know Debtor’s Rights.
We hear about these “over-aggressive” debt collectors almost daily. Most of the Bankruptcies we file involve some third-party debt collectors trying to coax money out of my clients. The practices and methods taken by collection companies seems to be getting more and more aggressive as time continues and the economy continues to suffer. The fact is, they are not operating with unlimited authority and ultimate power. The laws pertaining to what are called “Third Party Debt Collections” are quite strict, and can lead to severe consequences if these companies break those laws, but it takes you the consumer to point it out.
Daily, we are hearing the following:
Debt Collectors Are Calling My Cell Phone.
Debt Collectors Harassing Me.
Debt Collectors are Bugging my Friends and Family.
Debt Collectors are Jeopardizing My Employment.
Collection Companies are Calling Non-Stop.
I Don’t Even Owe Them Any Money?
That Debt Was Written Off Years Ago?
Some debt collector I’ve Never Heard of Sued Me
What Can I Do? (FIGHT THEM)
Be it here in St. Charles County or otherwise, yes they are “A Pain in the Neck”? That’s what many of you are thinking, and “neck” might not be the only term your thinking of when it comes to the daily harassing phone calls from bill collectors (Insert expletive here). They threaten, they insult, they make you feel bad, and then they demand money, NOW!
So what to do? How does one stop debt collectors from abusive tactics? Keep in mind, these collectors are working for a collection company. Their only goal, is to get money,…NOW. They are not paid to be nice to you, nor to be your friend, nor to be compassionate, nor to understand, nor to help you financially recover. They do not care about you, nor the hardships you have been experiencing, nor the hopes that you have to pull through this difficult time. They are neither friend nor foe, and neither moral nor immoral. They are “simple machines”, no different that the blender you have in your kitchen, except, they are rude, ignorant, and often threatening. They serve one purpose and one purpose only, and it isn’t to make margaritas. No, their only purpose is to get money now, and they’ll do just about anything to do their job, where they are celebrated and rewarded when they get it, despite any feelings, troubles, or issues you may have. You can even picture the “high-fives” being thrown after the collect what was to be the grocery money next week.
Ok, now we know who they are, on the other end of the phone, there is you. You, no doubt are a moral and responsible person. You understand right from wrong, and that treating people fairly is the golden rule. Remember, do unto…. You already “feel” bad because you have not made that payment, and “they” are there to remind you that you should feel bad. Hence, it’s a one sided struggle, you feeling bad, and them encouraging you to do so, or else…..Frankly, that really angers me, and that is why I do this Job.
I often tell my clients that they are not fighting a moral enemy here, they are not in a battle of wits, and emotions have no part in the matter. Emotions are for people, these callers are not “people”, remember? Hence, if you’ve never gotten angry with the kitchen blender, neither should you with these collection callers. They are simple machines, doing a mechanical task, without thought, remorse, emotion or morals. Treat them that way. I’ll be going into further details in future blog post about the specifics of treating these callers, so stay tuned. For now, what to do? You have two issues, one, the debt; and two, these callers. You know the debt is out there, now think about what to do about it. There are solutions, be it changing the circumstances, debt consolidation, debt negotiation, or bankruptcy, there are solutions. If you think these collectors are crossing the line and acting unethically and illegally, they may very well be, and they should be held accountable. We can do that! Keep good notes and talk with an attorney. You will also want to gather up your cell phone records, showing all the calls. You attorney will likely ask you the following questions:
1. Are they calling your cell phone?
2. What Company is calling you?
3. How often are the calling?
4. What types of comments are the making?
5. What Debt are they trying to collect?
6. Are they calling you at work?
7. Are they calling your friends, family, neighbors?
Luckily, the Federal Government has addressed in this type of behavior on behalf of consumers. No, it’s not alright for them to act this way, and no, they should not get away with it. To stop them, you have be Proactive. Your remedy is found in several laws, state and federal, but YOU have to enforce them. Primarily, you are protected from abusing behavior by the FDCPA and the TCPA. Not only can you force them to stop, but you may be able to make them pay for breaking the law.