Read these 5 Creditor Harassment Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Bankruptcy tips and hundreds of other topics.
While there are no absolute requirements related to words, phrases or sentences, these collection agency harassment communications should be brief, concise and specific. Please see the two examples that follow to get an idea of how your communication might be worded. Below is a sample of a cease and desist letter .
(Sent via Certified Mail with Return Receipt to protect the debtor)
City, State ZIP
Re: Account #
Pursuant to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. section 805. you are hereby notified to cease and desist all further communication with me in regard to the referenced debt.
Failure to abide by this law will result in a complaint being filed against you with the Federal Trade Commission, the Attorneys General of both your state and mine, and also your own company management. I also reserve the right to file suit against you for any future violations of this law. I will record any phone calls if you fail to comply with this cease and desist.
Should you believe a collector is guilty of creditor harassment via e-mail, the format that follows should stop their overly aggressive collection activity. Send this with a "Receipt Requested" and print a copy for your files with evidence of the e-mail receipt.
I am responding to your constant emails! In accordance with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, I demand that you:
Stop emailing me at home, at work, or any other location!
In accordance with federal law, once you've received this email, you may only contact me to:
The Fair Debt Collection Act does not specifically address the issue of using emails as a collection tool. But courts have held that the use of e-mail is an appropriate collection tool. Still, all collectors must adhere to the same guidelines as those that apply to the use of snail mail. Also, if sent to your workplace, emails must cease if you advise the collector that your employer prohibits debt collection contact. Additionally, should your employer have a published policy that states “e-mail is not confidential and may be viewed by authorized employees,” emails sent to the debtor's workplace are a violation of debtor rights simply by their existence. You have the right to send an e-mail to the collection entity that you believe is in violation of the FDCA to advise them to stop sending correspondence immediately. Collectors are permitted to contact you via fax per the FDCA, but, once again, they can only do so within the stated parameters of the regulation. A fax sent to your office to a communal fax machine or to an employer's workplace that prohibits debt collection contact is a violation of the Act.
The easiest and often most effective action you can take is to simply ask the creditor stop calling you. You may have to “remind” the caller that the firm has violated one or more provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Act, but the calls should cease. Should you be dealing with a collection agency and not your original creditor, you may also create and send your own “Cease and Desist” letter to stop their debt collection harassment. Always send a cease and desist letter by certified mail – return receipt requested so you'll have proof of its receipt. Also, make every attempt to send this letter to a physical address of the collection company, not a post office box.
You can report harassment problems to your state's Attorney General's office, the Federal Trade Commission, the American Collectors Association or your local State Bar Association. Should problems persist, you have the right to sue a collector in either state or federal court within one year from the date of the violation. If you are successful, you are eligible to recover money for damages, court and attorney costs, plus an additional amount up to $1,000.
The Fair Debt Collection Act specifies the rights of both creditors and debtors. If you have been subjected to any of the actions noted below, you are the victim of creditor harassment per the FDCA regulations. Collectors are prohibited from -
It is unlikely that you will become an “expert” in all the provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Act or the many variations of debt collection harassment. But you should become familiar with the most common violations committed by collectors:
A creditor or 3rd party collection firm is prohibited from: