How To Protect Yourself From Illegal Collection Agency Tactics


If you are a person who has had an account sent to collections, dealing with them can be a huge stressor. They constantly call you, as well as your family and work. That can be very embarrassing. They often use high pressure tactics to try and squeeze money out of you. It can feel like a miserable experience with no escape. Many people are not aware that there is protection for people from some of these tactics.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act protects consumers from a lot of the strong arm tactics that agencies use. The FDCPA protects you from harassing activities. This includes repeated phone calls, abusive threats, or stating that they will sue you or tell others about your debts. The FDCPA also protects you from collection agencies using deceptive statements. This means they cannot say they are attorneys, overstate how much you owe, or indicate that you have committed a crime. There are many other things the law protects you from. These include collection agencies taking more money out of an account than was agreed upon, garnishing your salary, or sending false legal documents. The first step toward protecting yourself from illegal collection tactics is to familiarize yourself with the law and the rights you have.

Once you know the FDCPA, you should conduct communication with a collection agency only in writing. Do not answer the phone and if you do, record the conversation. You can send them a cease and desist letter, which means they cannot contact you via phone. Tell them not to call your employer or any family members. A collection agency may say they don’t have to follow those guidelines, but they do. Otherwise, you will have protection in court. Send all communication with them via certified mail so you have proof that they received your letters. Document any violation of the FDCPA that a collection agency commits so that you have evidence should you decide to sue them. Also, never give your bank account or social security information to a collection agency. You are not obligated to provide it even if they ask you for verification reasons.

Another good tip is to look up information about the company. If you type the name of the agency in to Google, you will find plenty of consumer websites that contain posts from people who have dealt with that collection agency. This will give you some tips on how to handle calls from them as well as ways to get them to stop bothering you. Remember, someone has been in the same position as you, so make yourself aware of how they handled the situation.

If you decide not to sue an abusive collection agency, you should at least report them. This involves referring the matter to the BBB, FCC, and the state attorney general. These three will follow up with your complaint and in most cases they will force the collection agency to leave you alone. If you are threatened with violence, contact the police and report the matter. Do not be afraid to tell a collection agency that you plan to report them. Also keep in mind, many abusive collection agencies use false names and hide their phone numbers. Use the internet to find the information you need to report them, and don’t believe any name they give you.

Dealing with collection agencies is very daunting. If you educate yourself about the rights you have and study the habits of the company, you will be able to handle it. If they threaten you, take action against them. If they are harassing you with numerous phone calls, send them a cease and desist letter. Make sure you protect yourself from any illegal activity and document anything a collection agency does so that you have it as a matter of record in the future.

This post was written by

jason – who has written posts on Budget Clowns.
Father of three and married to a lovely women. Always looking for ways to save money, and invest it properly for my children's future.

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