If you are in debt and have missed one or more payments, you may have begun to receive calls, letters and/or emails from your creditors. If you are several payments behind, you may be receiving communications from debt collectors and collections agencies. Creditors and debt collectors may attempt to communicate with you so frequently that you begin to dread the sound of your phone ringing and the knowledge that the daily postal mail has been delivered.
You are protected by law from actual creditor harassment. However, it is important to note that creditor harassment as defined by federal law may be somewhat different than what harassment means to you. For example, most Americans would consider incessant phone calls and letters to be a form of harassment. Creditors and debt collectors may communicate with you repeatedly in their attempts to collect a debt. However, they may not cross certain lines as they attempt to communicate.
Creditors and debt collectors are bound by the terms of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. This act helps to ensure that debt collection practices are neither unfair nor deceptive nor abusive to borrowers of personal and household debts.
One common complaint that borrowers voice is that debt collectors call at unacceptable times. According to the Federal Trade Commission, debt collectors may not communicate with you in inconvenient places or at inconvenient times. For example, unless you otherwise agree to calls at odd hours, debt collectors may not call before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
If you believe that a debt collector is behaving in abusive, deceptive or unfair ways, please contact an attorney experienced in debt relief and bankruptcy law. He or she should be able to advise you of your rights and help to ensure that they are honored.