The Right Way to Deal With Debt Collectors

Stop Debt Collectors The Right Way to Deal With Debt Collectors

The Best Way to Deal with Unfair Debt Collectors

Consumers are in a tough spot during the COVID-19 pandemic. In September 2021, Bankrate conducted a survey that found 42% of Americans increased their credit card debt since the COVID-19 havoc began. The total U.S. household debt increased by $85 billion in 2020.

When consumers increase their debt at the same time they experience the pressures of job loss and ill health for themselves or family members, debt collections are not far behind.

If you face phone calls and collection letters from debt collectors, DoNotPay can help. This automated, web-based platform teaches you how to deal with debt collectors. You will find the DoNotPay solution available 24/7/365, with a user-friendly platform. DoNotPay circumvents the vexation that comes with blindly dealing with debt collections by yourself.

Federal and state laws make up the consumer's arsenal against unfair debt collection practices. The discussion begins with the federal law called the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, or FDCPA.

What is the FDCPA?

In 1977, Congress passed the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) in response to consumer complaints regarding unfair debt collection communications. The FDCPA became effective in March 1978.

The FDCPA covers personal financial debt and requires debt collection agencies to refrain from unfair and deceptive practices. Debt collection agencies must identify themselves when contacting a consumer. They must also provide written verification of the debt at the consumer's request.

Congress tasked the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) with enforcement of the FDCPA.

  1. What Do the FDCPA Regulations Cover?

The FDCPA addresses the most common issues presented by consumer complaints against debt collectors. The most common complaints are:

  • Trying to collect a debt not owed by the consumer,
  • Unfair, deceptive, or false, misleading or illegal communications, including profane language,
  • Threatening consumers with illegal actions, including jail for non-payment of debt,
  • Publication of personal information to unauthorized parties, and
  • Excessive phone calls.

If a debt collection agency violates the FDCPA regulations, the consumer may sue the agency in state court. Debt collectors who violate the FDCPA face $1,000 or more in statutory damages. Damages may include reasonable attorneys' fees and court costs.

In addition, consumers may file complaints with the FTC or with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The debt collector's actions may also violate state laws. Contact the appropriate State Attorney General's office for assistance and referral.

  1. Do I Need to Respond to Debt Collection Letters?

Debt collectors often contact consumers with debt collection letters. If you receive a letter from debt collectors threatening legal action, you must respond right away. Your response may include a statement that you do not owe the debt.

If the debt collection contact was by phone less than 30 days ago, you may respond with a request for details about the debt in what is known as a Validation Letter. The Validation Letter demand requires that the debt collector responds within five days with the amount of the debt, the name of the creditor, and the steps you can take to dispute the debt.

If you do not respond to the debt collector's correspondence on time, several things may happen. The collector may continue to try to collect the debt. The collection agency may also report negatively on the debt to credit reporting services. In the worst-case scenario, the collection agency may take you to court.

How to Deal With Debt Collectors on Your Own?

If the collection agency contact is by phone call, you may request the debtor send you a debt validation letter to verify the amount the debt collector says you owe. The validation letter must also tell you the name of the original creditor, what goods or services the debt bought, and the name of the debt collection agency. They have five days to send this to you.

Once you review the validation letter, or if you do not request the validation letter, you have choices. If you believe you owe the debt, you can pay the amount and tell them not to contact you anymore.

If you do not believe you owe the debt, you may tell the collection agency to stop communicating with you. The law requires them to stop, but it does not stop them from filing a lawsuit against you for the money owed.

You can tell the collection agency how you want them to contact you. For example, you may tell them you only want them to talk to your lawyer. Or you can tell them they are not permitted to call you at work. Or you may specify certain phone numbers and times of day they may call.

You may also negotiate with the collection agency on the amount that you owe.

There Are Restrictions When It Comes to Debt Collection, These Are:

The Right Time and PlaceInforming debt collectors of the proper time and place to be contacted would give you the right to reject their calls at those times. But generally, debt collectors should know that they aren’t allowed to contact you before 8 a.m and after 9 p.m.
Being HarrassedYou or anyone else has the right to hang up or turn away any form of contact when being harassed by them.
Represented by an AttorneyIf you are being represented by your attorney, you are allowed to turn down their call and direct them to contact your attorney instead. So be sure to give them your attorney’s contact details.

And, of course, if you believe the collection agency violated the FDCPA, you can file complaints with the FTC and the CFPB.

This all takes time out of your day and perseverance against persistent debt collectors. The process will frustrate you. Luckily, the DoNotPay platform is an attractive, alternative solution.

Solve Your Debt Collector Problem With the Help of DoNotPay?

DoNotPay is the perfect solution to your debt collector problem. DoNotPay takes the research and guesswork out of the process while it makes it easy and painless.

Here's how it works:

  1. Search “debt collection” on DoNotPay.

     

  2. Answer a series of questions about the debt collectors, including when you were contacted and how you were contacted, so we can determine if they have violated any debt collection laws.

     

  3. Decide which course of action you want to take based on our guidance, such as filing a debt verification request, demanding for the collectors to stop contacting you, or reporting them to the CFPB.

     

Can DoNotPay Help Me With Other Debt Related Stuff?

DoNotPay does not only help you handle debt collectors but can equip you with the knowledge to fight off future battles. Learn things such as:

What Else Can DoNotPay Do?

This problem is just one of many ways that DoNotPay can help you. You may also enjoy these topics:

Visit the DoNotPay website to learn how the platform can help you resolve issues with debt collectors and other matters.

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