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12 On Your Side: How to stop debt collectors from calling

12 OYS

Collections agencies don't have the right to harass you -- according to the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act. (WRDW-TV / Oct. 7, 2011)

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Friday, Oct. 7, 2011

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- At some point you may have forgotten to pay a bill or maybe you lost your job and fell behind. Either way, you've probably received a phone call, or two, or three or a dozen from a collection agency. Did you know you have a right to stop their calls?

Collection agencies make their money by getting your money. Here is how it works: If you get behind on your credit card, then the credit card company will hire a collection agency to go after your money. Those collection agencies are paid sometimes more than 25 percent of the money they collect from you.

Thankfully, you have rights under the "Fair Debt Collections Practices Act." The Act protects people against third-party collection agencies.

Here are your rights:

  • Collection agencies are not allowed to call your office or family.
  • They are not allowed to call you at odd hours.
  • They can not be verbally abusive.
  • They can not harass you.
  • They can not add unauthorized charges.

If all else fails, send the collector a certified letter stating that you want them to cease all communication with you. By law, they are supposed to stop. You can pursue legal action against the debt collector if they continue to violate your rights.


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