How to avoid being harassed by a debt collector or bill collector

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How to avoid being harassed by a debt collector or bill collector:

1. Deal with your creditors before you are referred to a collection agency. Call the creditor to explain your situation. Make sure that you actually owe the money,. Do not make promises that you can’t keep, such as making a payment on a certain date, when you know you will not be able to make the payment.

2. Send a letter via certified mail. Keep a copy of it.

3. Contact a Lawyer.

If your letter doesn’t stop the harassment, a letter from a lawyer should. The lawyer may be able to raise legal claims for violations of the federal law that prohibits debt collection harassment. Federal law states that collection agencies cannot contact consumers represented by lawyers. This does not apply to creditors collecting their own debts, but creditors usually abide by the law as well.

4. Negotiate with the creditor.

Its better to negotiate with a creditor before the debt is sent to a collection agency, but you may be able to work with the collection agency.

5. Raise Complaints About Billing Errors

If the collection letter contains an error, write to the company and request a correction. Consumers have the right to dispute a debt. Collection agencies must tell you the steps to take to dispute the date during the first contact or within five days of the first contact. If the consumer disputes the debt in writing within 30 days, the collection agency must stop collection efforts while it investigates the debt.

If the debt involves a line of credit, a credit card, or an electronic transfer of money, you have the additional legal right to require the creditor to investigate the bill.

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Published In: Bankruptcy Updates, Consumer Protection Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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