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How to Stop Collection Agency Harassment

Are You Facing Collection Agency Harassment? Know How to Stop It

The cases of financial institutions using unethical means to recover money from their debtors are on rise. Around 71,000 people filed harassment and abuse charges with the Federal Trade Commission last year alone. If you are having a tough time trying to figure out how you can stop collection agency harassment, we will guide you with it.
WealthHow Staff
Last Updated: Jun 3, 2018
A collection agency, also referred to as a debt collection agency, is a third party recovery unit, employed by financial institutions with the sole aim to recover their money from the debtors. A collection agency hires individuals, often referred to as debt collectors, to remind or persuade the debtors to fulfill their obligations. At times, the methods that these agencies or collectors resort to are outright annoying or, even worse, harassing.

In such circumstances, most of the debtors choose to suffer this unnecessary harassment. What we, as the consumers, fail to understand is that we don't necessarily have to undergo this harassment, as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a law constituted to ensure fair debt collection, has provisions to stop it.

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)

It is the most formidable legal weapon you can use to stop collection agency harassment. The Act is intended to wipe out unethical or abusive practices of consumer debt collection and promote fair debt collection practices. It covers important points which state that upon receiving a written notice from the consumer, stating that he/she will not pay the debt and at the same time, does not wish to communicate with the agency any more, the collection agency should cease trying to communicate with the said consumer by any means other than legal proceedings. The Act also states that the collection agency shouldn't call the consumer frequently with the intention of annoying or harassing him, and should cease communicating with the consumer at his/her workplace after being advised that it is prohibited.

What Amounts to Harassment?

Harassment by the collection agency can be mental (e.g. calling during odd hours) as well as physical (e.g. using violent means). Even threatening using offensive language, falsely claiming to be law enforcement officers, or confronting the consumer at odd hours, or at odd place, amounts to harassment. Consumers, on their part, should be aware of legal issues and various acts protecting their rights in order to stop being harassed by the collection agency.

How to Stop Such Harassment?

The foremost thing you will have to do is, send a cease and desist notice to the collection agency. According to the federal law, once the collection agency receives the notice on your behalf, clearly stating that they shouldn't contact you, they can't communicate with you by any other means except for legal proceedings. It is advisable to send a notarized letter, using a certified mail service. Make sure that the basic details, like your name, phone number, etc., are properly covered in the letter. If the collection agency persists to harass you with unnecessary calls or confrontation, you can go ahead and file a lawsuit against them.

What About Collection Agency Calls?

In this case, you can send them a cease and desist letter stating that they must stop calling you, and instead, can communicate through mails or legal proceedings. If you still continue to get calls after this, you are recommended to record your conversation with the collection agent. This recorded conversation will act as an evidence of the collection agency violating the law. Politely request the collection agent to stop calling you. Mention about the cease and desist letter you sent to the agency. If required mention the relevant points from the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. This will send across a strong message about your seriousness in dealing with harassment that you are experiencing.

You need to understand that these are measures to deal with collection agencies, not to avoid the debt you legitimately owe to the said institution. While they stop the annoying antics to persuade you to repay the debt, you can try to come up with a debt settlement agreement with them. Being aware of the various legalities related to the issue can help you keep harassment at bay and stay out of trouble.