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10.0Mohammad Reza Kazerouni

Bankruptcy is not the only way to stop creditor harassment

When you owe money, creditors have the right to try to get it back from you. However, this does not mean they can do so through abusive, offensive or illegal ways. You have rights as a consumer no matter how much debt you have. Unfortunately, creditors and collection agencies may still choose to harass you.

You may have heard that bankruptcy is an immediate way to end the harassment. This is fine if you are planning on filing for bankruptcy, but if you do not want to pursue that route, you have options available to stop creditors from contacting you.

Hire an attorney

The fastest way to end the harassment is by having legal representation. A consumer protection lawyer can communicate with creditors on your behalf and demand that creditors speak only to them, not you. You can also sue when a creditor's actions violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Request no more contact

The lawgives you power to ask creditors to stop contacting you by notifying them in a letter. It is always best to keep records of all communication to protect yourself or your case, should you file a lawsuit. The creditor must honor your request, only contacting you to acknowledge receipt of your letter or to inform you of a lawsuit they file against you.

Dispute the debt

Perhaps the debt is not even yours, the amount does not seem right or you already paid the debt long ago. Creditors are supposed to send you a validation of the debt within five days of first contacting you, and you have 30 days to dispute the debt entirely or partially through a written letter.

Creditors must stop contacting you until they provide information within 30 days of your request, showing that the debt is yours. If collectors do not do this in the time frame, they must leave you alone and remove the debt from your credit report.

Whatever you do, know that you don't have to put up with harassment from creditors.

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