Having bill collectors call you is a very unpleasant situations for anyone. And these days bill collectors will call you; they will call at home and at work with no regard for their harassing tactics. Dealing with collection agencies requires a little bit of knowledge on the part of the debtor. Once you learn your rights and take action you can effectively stop creditor harassment in its tracks allowing you to come to a fair conclusion for your debts.

Stopping Creditor Harassment

The most important thing to realize when you have collection agencies calling you at home and at your place of employment is that you do have rights. Because of the dirty tactics of creditors there have been a number of safeguards put into place by the Congress of the United States to make certain that debtors are treated fairly and with human dignity. This means that once you know these rights you can assert them to get the bill collectors to stop calling. Now, this does not mean that there is way for you to erase your legal debts. The only way to discharge debts is through a bankruptcy proceeding which you may or may not want to pursue. It is to say that there are definite steps that you can take to arrange for a fair settlement of your legitimate debts and to make certain that the creditor harassment stops.

These rights for consumers have been explained in a number of legislative laws. The most recent and far-reaching of these is called the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which is often just shortened to be called the FDCPA. It is not necessary that you read this bill so much as you understand what it contains in relation to your rights in a debt collection scenario. Let's take a minute and go through the rules step by step that you can come to a better understanding of what protections that law affords you.

The first thing to be aware of is that bill collectors and creditors have to follow specific procedures when they contact you in order to try to collect upon an outstanding debt. The first rule is that if they contact you by phone they must explain certain things to you such as the fact that they are trying to collect a debt and the information that they obtain will be used for that purpose. So you should know that anything you say when speaking to a debt collector can later be applied to your case. Also, the law specifies that debt collectors and creditors may only attempt to contact you during certain times of the day. It is illegal for a creditor to try to collect a debt unless the phone call occurs between the hours of 8 AM and 9 PM. Additionally, it is illegal for a creditor to threaten you with police action such as imprisonment, jail time, or arrest for failing to pay the debt. Finally, creditors may only speak to you concerning your debt. It is illegal for a creditor to speak about your personal debt situation with anyone that you live with such as family members or roommates and it is also illegal for them to discuss this matter with your co-workers or boss.

Now, these are the ground rules for creditors trying to collect a debt. As you see it is legal for them to conduct phone calls that you perceive as threatening even if they can not specifically threaten you. Therefore, in order to stop collection calls you will have to further assert your rights. Did you know that you can stop bill collectors from calling you entirely?

Indeed, if you do not want a creditor to call you anymore, you can inform them that you want all further correspondence to be conducted through the mail and then, if they continue to call you, they would be committing an illegal act. This must be done in writing so if you want the threatening phone calls to cease, you are going to need to get the address of the collection agency and write them a letter explaining that you want all further correspondence to be conducted through the mail. Once they receive this letter it is illegal for them to continue to use the telephone in order to collect a debt.

Be advised that the best way to stop creditor calls is to actually talk with the creditor and work out a fair settlement to the disputed debt. In most cases bill collectors will be willing to settle for less than you owe, so it behooves you to negotiate rather than simply to ignore creditor calls. But, as you can see, dealing with a collection agency is something that, despite the unpleasantness of it, many people have to go through. By knowing and asserting your rights you can learn how to stop collection agencies.

For more information on how to stop creditor calls, check these related Infobarrel articles:
Bill Collectors Calling my Work
How to Deal with Collection Agency