A debt relief lawyer can help you stop abuse by collections agents. In today's economy, it is not uncommon for people to get overburdened with debt. Tens of millions of people struggle with this every day and find themselves falling behind on bills and credit card payments. The last thing they need is an onslaught of harassing and abusive phone calls by collection agencies.
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When you get far behind on bills, banks, credit card companies and other businesses can turn your debt over to collection agencies which can be pushy and intrusive. They will call you day and night in the attempt to collect a debt. Many victims of this practice seek the help of a qualified debt settlement attorney to help them resolve their financial worries and deal with creditors.
Collection agencies can be one of the most menacing and unprofessional businesses you will ever encounter. Why are they so aggressive? Their employees – the debt collectors who call your house or place of work – typically work on commission incentives and bonuses for the amount of funds they are able to draw in over the phone.
Because of this, collection agents will often go to any means to collect a debt, including threats, harassment, and making embarrassing phone calls to your place of business. Sadly, many of these tactics are not illegal under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
The FDCPA opens with the following statement in its declaration of purpose:
"There is abundant evidence of the use of abusive, deceptive, and unfair debt collection practices by many debt collectors. Abusive debt collection practices contribute to the number of personal bankruptcies, to marital instability, to the loss of jobs, and to invasions of individual privacy."
To battle this, the FDCPA lays out a set of ground rules that collection agencies are obligated to follow in accordance with federal law. Unfortunately, not a lot of consumers know their rights and debt collectors often take advantage of them through the use of illegal collection practices.
The Cease and Desist Letter
The most effective action a consumer can take to stop collection phone calls is to send a cease and desist letter. When you receive a collection call, it is as simple as asking the collection agent to identify himself or herself by first and last name and for the collection agency's address.
Verbally tell the collection agent over the phone not to call you anymore, and inform him or her that you will be sending a cease and desist letter. Regardless of what these agents tell you, they know what this is and that they are legally obligated to adhere to the Act. Then, all you need to do is write a brief letter telling them to cease and desist all telephone attempts to collect your debt, including calls to your home, your place of business or to any of your friends or relatives.
Screening and Recording Phone Calls
Once a cease and desist letter is sent, there is a good chance the collection agency will continue to call you – which is illegal. Having a quality caller ID installed on your phone will help you screen and keep a record of every one of these phone calls. If you have a lawyer, he or she may even advise you to answer and record the call if the collector is persistent and aggressive.
Check to see if yours is a “two party” state, meaning that the person you call must be notified that you are recording the conversation.
Having an audio recording of phone calls from debt collectors is an effective means of gathering evidence of illegal practices such as fraudulent statements, abusive language, threats and other encroachments of the FDCPA.
A debt relief lawyer can leverage this evidence in a lawsuit against the debt collector and the collection agency.
Call now for debt relief at 817-737-5436
We offer free consultations
Alice Bower, Attorney at Law, is a personal bankruptcy lawyer practicing in Fort Worth, Arlington, Irving, North Richland Hills, Grapevine, Colleyville, Mansfield, Burleson, Grand Prairie and Bedford.