Although it’s not every day that a person experiences harassment from debt collectors, it does not mean that no one has ever experienced harassment from debt collectors. Experts say that consumers should deal with debt collectors.
This, however, does not mean that you should sleep on your rights against harassment. You can report it to the proper authorities. But the best thing to do to prevent this from happening is to avoid any financial missteps that trigger the debt collector to harass you.
Harassment by a debt collector
There are different ways where a debt collector can harass you. It includes repeated annoying phone calls that are intended to abuse, annoy, to use obscene language, calling you and not telling you who they are, or to say threats of violence
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) provides that debt collectors are prohibited from harassing, oppressing, or abusing the person they are contacting. You can sue the violators using the federal law, and if you win, the violating debt collector will pay your attorney’s fees and damages.
The rules regarding the phone calls, as provided under the FDCPA, are the following:
- The debt collectors can only call from 8 am until 9 pm. They should respect your time and wait for the prescribed time for them to call you. When the time ticks to 9 pm, they should not make any calls to you anymore.
2. Debt collectors can call you from your home number or personal number. They can call your office number unless you specifically told them that you cannot take personal phone calls using your office number. If allowed by your office, they can call to verify that you work there, but they cannot discuss the debt with your workplace.
3. The law does not specify the number of times that a debt collector can call you in a day. However, if the debt collector repeatedly and continuously calls you and you feel harassed, then that is considered abusive.
4. Debt collectors are not allowed to discuss your debt to other people, except you, your spouse, and your attorney. If they call in your workplace, or if in your home, someone else picked up the phone, they can only say that you should call them immediately. They can’t discuss the debt with the person who received the call.
5. The debt collector can only say honest things to you. Ask them to verify your debt and mail the relevant documents to you. Even though they don’t have to be generally nice, they have to be honest. They should not pretend to be someone else and threaten you with a lawsuit.
Financial missteps to avoid
Making a financial mistake can be costly. Such missteps can lead a person into economic hardship. However, even if you are already in financial hardship, avoiding these mistakes could be a key to survive your debt and keep the harassing debt collectors away.
- Delaying repayments
You should know that 35% of your credit score depends on your payment history. It is common knowledge that you should have on time and consistent payments to maintain a good credit score. Even though one missed payment will only make a small dent in your credit score, making it a habit can be crucial for your credit score.
The best way to repay your loan is to pay the very bad credit loans from direct lenders, which are those with higher interest rates. Then you can slowly work on debts with lower interest rates. Your lender will enjoy all the jacked up interest rates you would pay for late payments, but you will suffer financially.
- Living on borrowed money
Many people use credit cards in purchasing gasoline and groceries. Although it is convenient to use your card instead of carrying cash, using it for purchases will only double your expenses. You will also run the risk of paying more than what you earn.
- Excessive spending
Spending excessively usually happens during payday. Although you may not feel like spending a lot when you buy a cup of coffee from Starbucks or a pack of cigarettes from the store, every little thing could add up and is a big part of your monthly expenses.
Dinner out for $30 per meal, if added up, can be almost more than your mortgage payment for a year. If you are in financial hardship, avoiding this mistake is one good way of facing that hardship. Always remember that every dollar counts.
- Applying for multiple credits in a short period
Say you’re applying for two credit cards at the same time and you are planning to apply for a car loan next month, what you’re doing hurts your credit score and your financial stability. Multiple applications for one credit line is safe, but applying for different credit lines is bad.
- Living paycheck to paycheck
The Federal Reserve Data stated in 2018 that 3.1% of American households are living paycheck to paycheck. This method is considered disastrous, as cumulative overspending and a missed paycheck is a disastrous circumstance.
Look for other ways to get money. You can pawn an item you no longer use, sell items you no longer need, ask your family for money, use your skills to get a gig or apply for quick cash loans to give you financial relief. Getting quick cash loans do not need collateral as security and are short term. These cheap installment loans are efficient ways of getting cash immediately for emergency expenses.
Make a financial plan and know where you are going with your finances. Steer away from the dangers of overspending and only buy what you need, especially if you are facing a financial problem. Being responsible with your finances will prevent you from getting harassment calls from debt collectors.