Consumers often ask me how to stop harassment from debt collectors, collection attorneys, or telemarketers. My answer may surprise you but often I recommend that you don’t stop the calls. In many cases it may be better to sue the abusive companies that to merely stop the calls.
Stop Harassment from Debt Collectors, Collection Agencies, and Collection Attorneys
The simple way to stop harassment from collection calls is to simply ask the debt collector in writing to stop the calls. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) the collector is then required to stop calling you. Yes, it is that easy to stop collection calls. This applies to any collection agency or collection attorney collecting consumer debt that it obtained from another while that debt was in default. Don’t be hasty, however. It is often preferable to let the calls continue.
One reason you should let collection agencies call you is because if you tell them to stop calling, they might sue you. Being sued is stressful and can result in a bad outcome compared to answering the phone once in a while. Contact an attorney before asking a debt collector to stop calling.
Another circumstance in which you should let collection agencies keep calling you is when you need to sue a debt collector for other abuses. Under the FDCPA you can, and should, sue debt collectors, collection agencies, and collection attorneys when they are abusive, unfair, or treat you in an undignified manner. If such conduct is taking place, allowing the calls to continue while you gather evidence can help bolster your case against the collection agency.
Stop Harassment from Telemarketers
It is easy to stop harassment from most telemarketers. First, put your telephone number on the do not call registry. Not all telemarketing will stop by putting your number on the do not call list but it will certainly help reduce such calls. Next, tell the telemarketer to stop calling and ask for a copy of its do not call policy. Those two steps alone will stop harassment in most cases.
In more extreme situations you may need to sue to stop harassment from telemarketers. In that case your first priority is keep a call log of the date, time, and caller of every call. Answer every telemarketing call and tell the telemarketer to stop calling you and make a note that you did so in your log. Take pictures of the caller ID for every call to later prove who called and what number they called from. You can also compare the caller ID information to call records to determine whether or not the telemarketer altered the caller ID information. You should also get copies of your telephone records to bolster the information from your caller ID pictures and call log.
When consumers ask me how to stop harassment from debt collectors, collection agencies, or collection attorneys my answer is often don’t stop the calls. Instead, use the calls to gather evidence. For telemarketing calls, the same advice rings true. Tell the caller to stop calling but keep good records in case they don’t. In any event, stopping these annoying calls is easy to do in most cases. If the calls don’t stop after your repeated efforts, contact a consumer rights attorney. In many cases, we can stop the calls and make these abusive companies pay you for their harassment and abuse.