You understand that your financial situation is not good. The combination of not-so-good monetary decisions along with unexpected health-related setbacks has led to this downward spiral. You owe a lot of money related to credit card debt and steep medical bills. You know that a solution is in order, and that could include filing for bankruptcy.
But while pondering this move, you continue to reserve incessant communications from creditors demanding money from you … or else. You do not deserve this. You already feel bad enough and are marching toward a solution. Those irritating and harassing calls at home and work. And, recently, you began receiving annoying texts. How did these creditors get your cellphone number? You want these excessive reminders and bullying to stop. You do have protections and the law on your side.
They cannot threaten you
Those disruptive contacts take away from what you really need to focus on: getting back on financial track. And those creditors have even called your mother.
When you begin to get these calls, make sure to serve as your own advocate. Stay calm when and seek verification related to the debt in question. Also, make sure to document every contact that you have with these creditors because doing so provides support for any possible legal claim.
You also have an “ace in the hole” with a federal law known as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). This law protects you from creditor harassment by forbidding certain behaviors condoned by debt collectors.
Here are some of the things that creditors cannot do as declared by the FDCPA:
- Order you to provide payments for more than you owe.
- Continually calling you day in and day out at all hours.
- Call you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
- Contact your employer to gain insight from managers and co-workers
- Contact your immediate family along with relatives
- Bully, threaten and intimidate you and use vulgar language
- Promise to have you arrested and fired from your job
Working through financial problems should not include an obstacle such as credit harassment. Stand up for yourself, do not take this behavior and send letters to creditors, ordering them to stop all communication with you. And if you declare bankruptcy, that decision also may put an end to this harassment.