It is important to know that even though you are a debtor you have rights that protect you from harassments collection agencies may try and coerce you with. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was passed specifically to protect all debtors from the harassments caused by debt collectors. This means you are protected against continuous pressure these agencies may inflict on you.
The definition of a debtor is someone who owes money through personal loans either because of credit card overuse or when paying a mortgage on property. If you do not repay your debts or if errors come up in your accounts then you may be contacted by a debt collector agency. Although the collection agency has the right to collect unpaid debts from you they have to follow certain regulations imposed by the FDCPA and cannot use unfair methods or harassment.
Collection agencies have no right to harass you, cannot call before eight in the morning and after nine at night, or are allowed to disturb you at inconvenient times or locations. A debt collector cannot use obscene language or abuse you in any way. They may not contact relatives or friends regarding your debts or when you are at work.
You may stop a collection agency from contacting you by writing a letter expressing your wish to be left alone. At this point the collection agency may contact you to let you know what action the creditor may take against you and then stop the calls. Keep in mind that in the letter you did not express the intention of not paying, just the wish to be left alone.
You can also stop harassment by avoiding the calls and sending a cease and desist letter telling the agency to stop contacting you for the debt. Make sure you keep records of the calls and write down date, time and name of person who contacted you. If the state you live in allows it you can tape the call.
You can negotiate on the terms of payment and discuss ways to repay the debt. Some states do not allow property seizures for unpaid for debts, this will allow you more leeway to make a deal. For more information on laws concerning unpaid debts you can consult the Attorney Generals office in your state or the state consumer protection office.
You can file a complaint if you are sure that the collection agency has violated any law that protect debtors and contact the FTC of the governing office in your state to file the complaint formally. Make sure you have all documents to back up your claim. You can definitely sue the collection agency if they have violated your rights and asked to be paid back for punitive and actual damages.
If you are being harassed and have debtor problems it is important you should know your rights and ways you can act to avoid harassment and unlawful procedures collection agencies may use. Debtors have rights just as creditors do, so make sure you know where these lie and what actions you can take.