If you have ever received a call from a debt collector, you understand just how unpleasant the experience can be. You might even think that there is no way to stop debt collector calls, and the only option is to endure these calls until the debt is resolved. This is simply not true.
Debt collectors don’t care about you or your situation. They don’t care if the debt is in error, or if you fell on hard times; they want you to pay either way. But regardless of the circumstances, they are not allowed to bully you – period.
Debt Collectors Have More Bark Than Bite
Even though debt collectors do have certain rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), your rights to not be harassed over your phone are even stronger. For starters, you are not required by law to interact directly with the debt collector that interrupted your dinner yesterday, especially over the phone. Much like spam calls, you hold the right and power to opt-out of debt collection calls by communicating you do not consent to the call.
If you believe the creditor is calling about a legitimate debt you wish to pay, you can still relieve yourself of collection calls by requesting to resolve the matter in the form of written communication. Debt collectors must abide by this request, calling you again would be a violation of the law. If you continue to receive these calls after this request, you should utilize phone recording services to provide hard evidence of harassment.
Verifying the Debt Claims
Many times, consumers fall victim to fraudulent collection calls and make payments on debts they do not owe. This is an unfortunate truth, but by fully understanding these preventative measures you can save time, reduce financial stress, and take back control.
To protect your privacy and hard-earned dollars, it is important to remember that debt collectors are required to verify the debt of which they claim you owe, as it is illegal for a debt collector to call a debtor regarding a debt that does not belong to them. The easiest way to identify if a debt collector is legitimate is to request a validation letter to be sent by mail before making payment or engaging with the caller further.
Until the debt has been verified, a call from a debt collector does not mean you owe the debt. False or incorrect debt collection calls can happen frequently, especially if you have changed your phone number. So, it is important to ensure you’re holding debt collectors accountable by requesting formal verification. If the debt cannot formally be verified, you should communicate you do not consent to any further calls, and report these calls to the FCC. And if you are feeling spiteful, requesting the caller’s mailing address to send a cease-and-desist letter is a great way to interrupt their day as they have done to yours.
Debt Collectors are No Different from Telemarketers
Contrary to some belief, debt collectors are not the mob. Despite their brazen confidence, debt collectors are held accountable to the same FCC telemarketing rules & restrictions as all other business-related calls.
These callers cannot contact you before 8 AM or later than 9 PM, or any other times that you express are inappropriate. Debt collectors cannot contact you repeatedly, even if you answer and hang up. As stated above, you hold the right to opt-out at any time and can take legal action if they continue to call. If any of these instances occur, you can report these violations to the FCC.
So, What Can You Do?
Possessing the knowledge to hold debt collectors accountable is an empowering feeling, especially when you are finally able to stop these callers from ringing your phone.
To avoid further harassment from a debt collector, a simple solution is to request the caller not to contact you via phone again. If you believe the debt is legitimate but do not wish to receive these unwanted calls, you hold the right to resolve the matter via written forms of communication. This ensures you have hard evidence of debt verification or any legal violations.
Although unnecessary, some consumers have also gone as far changing their landline or cellular phone numbers to stop debt collector calls. This can be costly and annoying to do. Because debt collectors typically have technology that alerts them when a phone number “changes hands”, the quickest, easiest solution to stop debt collector calls from ever even reaching your phone is to download a call blocking app.
TrapCall, the #1 phone privacy app, offers call blocking and call recording technology to equip you with the tools to fight back against debt collectors. You can add calls to your personal blacklist, record illegal debt collection calls for evidence, and much more.