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How to stop harassment by creditors

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Being harassed by creditors can be one of the most stressful things a person can go through when they are already having money problems. While there are a number of restrictions on what a creditor can do and say, many creditors do not follow these rules. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who give into these creditors and their harassment because they just want the harassment to stop.
Fortunately, there are several things you can do to get a bill collector to stop harassing. Start by keeping a notebook next to your phone. Use this notebook to write down the time and date of every call from a representative. If possible, also write down the name of the company representative that you talk to, the name of the collection agency, and the details of what was discussed during the phone call. This log will serve to document how many times a day the company was calling you, but it typically will not be able to stand on its own as evidence. In general, this log will help you to piece together a harassment case against the debt collector.
Next, gather witnesses and evidence of the harassment. Ideally, get a tape recorder and tape the phone calls (be sure you tell the creditor that the call is being recorded, however). If this isn’t possible, have a neighbor or a friend listen to the phone call on speaker phone. Even if you do not feel comfortable letting someone else listen to the details of these conversations, have the friend note the number of times the agency calls you and the times of these calls. Since debt collectors are only allowed to contact you about a debt during certain hours, calls after and before this time are considered to be harassment. Also be sure to keep any written correspondence the agency sends you about the debt.
After you have gathered enough evidence of the harassment, it’s time to stop taking phone calls from the creditor. Realize that by cutting off contact you still owe the debt, and the collection agency may take steps to collect from you. Fortunately, there are a lot of restrictions on what they are legally allowed to do in order to collect the money. Despite what many of these companies say on the phone, they can very rarely take your house or garnish your wages. Learn what they can and can’t do to you and your family.
In the meantime, the easiest way to stop collection phone calls is to screen your calls. Many people buy an answering machine and allow all of their calls to go to voicemail before picking up the phone. If the credit agencies are contacting you via a cell phone, make sure that you only pick up for recognized callers. It may also be possible for you to block the company’s phone calls, but many professional debt collectors use a variety of phone numbers in order to thwart this tactic.
Of course, the best way to get rid of a debt collector is to pay the debt. Since many professional debt collectors buy blocks of bad and delinquent debts from major companies and banks for pennies on the dollar, they are willing to negotiate. A professional company that specializes in debt consolidation and negotiation may be a good option to deal with a debt collector that is harassing you.



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