Anyone in New Jersey who has ever had to deal with a debt collector knows how persistent and often rude they can be on the phone. As if that wasn’t bad enough, there are debt collectors who resort to things such as threats, profanity and a seemingly systematic campaign of harassment. It often seems as if there is no way to stop harassing phone calls from creditors. Fortunately, that assumption is wrong.
Under the Fair Debt Collections Act, consumers who are being harassed by debt collectors can get the calls to stop. One way is to send a letter to the company to stop contact because the consumer is disputing the debt until more information is given about the debt itself or until evidence is provided that the consumer actually owes the debt. Consumers may also send a letter to the debt collector indicating how and when they may contact the consumer.
There is also a way to get the debt collector to stop contact all together. A letter to the debt collector telling them to stop contacting you is enough. The debt may still be owed, but at least they aren’t calling about it. Of course, anyone that has hired a lawyer should get that information to the debt collector as soon as possible with instructions to only speak to the attorney.
For those debt collectors who cross the line, they can be reported to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Trade Commission or the New Jersey Attorney General. Consumers can stop harassing phone calls from creditors, but it means taking the time to send them a letter. Consumers may want to send the letter certified with a return receipt, however, since some debt collectors may choose to ignore the letter. Having proof that it was delivered can help keep them in line.
seattlepi.com, “It Just Got A Lot Easier To Get Debt Collectors Off Your Back,” Mandi Woodruff, July 11, 2013