Debt CollectorCredit: google imagesCredit: google images

Many Americans are sitting at home anxious about the phone because it continuously rings.  They already know on the other end is the debt collector that won't go away.  Instead of trying to take steps to stop this harassment, they just continue to avoid  the problem.  There are many steps that can be taken to stop unfair debt collection practices.  So get up from that couch and take action.

1.  Call First.  Instead of jumping every time the phone rings, call the collection agency first.  Get a copy of the notice with all the information about the debt and make the call.  Ask them to send you a copy of the debt and then contact them to make pay arrangements.  By taking action, you will feel better about the situation.

2.  Send a Letter.  Send a letter to the collection agency explaining your hardship and ask them not to contact you anymore.  A sample of this type of letter can be found on the internet.  Once they have received the letter, by law they should cease the phone calls and should only make contact to let you know of any further actions that will be taken.

3.  Sue Them.  If the agency is calling you late at night, threatening to have you put in jail or using profane language they can be sued.  Contact an attorney that specializes in Consumer Law to discuss your rights and to see if you actually have a case.  Laws are in place to protect us from such practices, but they only work if they are applied.

4.  Settle the Debt.  If you have about 50% of the amount that you owe, then request a settlement.  This will allow the debt to be resolved for less than the full amount.  Make sure to request a copy of the settlement letter as proof that the debt was paid.

5.  Pay The Bill.  If you have money in your savings account and you know that the debt is yours; pay the bill.  By going ahead and paying the bill, the collection agency has no need to contact you anymore.  So quit avoiding it, pay the bill.

Owing money on a debt does not have to be stressful.  There are many things that you can do to take control of the situation.  By contacting them first, sending a letter or just simply paying the bill; you will effectively stop them in their tracks.