With all the regulations governing debt collectors the telephone is still the quickest (and most annoying) way for a debt collector to try and get in touch with you. Even though debt collectors are clearly aware that most people now have cell phones and can easily block calls or send calls to voicemail, that doesn’t seem to slow them down when it comes to pestering people with unending phone calls.
But there are ways to stop the phone calls – and you don’t have to file bankruptcy to make them stop.
Here are two ways you can make the phone calls stop and maybe even get the debt to go away for good.
#1 – Simply Ask them to Stop
While this sounds too simple to be true, you can actually get debt collectors to stop contacting you by simply asking them to stop. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) if you ask a debt collector to stop contacting and you do it in writing, then they must stop. Here is what the law says:
(c) Ceasing communication—If a consumer notifies a debt collector in writing that the consumer refuses to pay a debt or that the consumer wishes the debt collector to cease further communications with the consumer. – 15 U.S.C. § 1692c(c).
Notice that the law states that they must cease communications with you. This means that not only can they not call you on the phone, but that they must stop sending you letters or communicating with you in any way.
#2 – Hire an Attorney
Once a debt collector is aware that you have an attorney they must stop all communication with you and deal directly with your lawyer. The FDCPA states specifically:
“A debt collector may not communicate with a consumer in connection with the collection of any debt—
(2) if the debt collector knows the consumer is represented by an attorney with respect to such debt and has knowledge of…”
Here at the Arizona Consumer Law Group we often help consumers with annoying debt collectors by sending letters to the debt collectors to inform them that they are now represented by an attorney and that all communication must now go through my office.
We provide each client with a “Box-‘O-Bills” where you can put all of the old bills you have received and then once we get it back from you we take the box, organize the bills, and then send notice out to the debt collectors that you are now represented by an attorney and that all communication must stop.
If you are interested in getting your own “Box-O’-Bills” shoot me an email (email@example.com) and I would be happy to schedule a time for a free consultation were we can get you set up.
What if They Don’t Stop Contacting Me?
Asking the debt collectors to stop is all well and good, but what if they don’t stop contacting you? If you have done your part – either sent them something in writing telling them to stop contacting you and/or hired an attorney to represent you and still the debt collectors persist in calling you or writing you letters, then you likely have an FDCPA claim against that debt collector and can sue them.
Suing a debt collector under the FDCPA does two things – first, it stop them from continuing with the behavior that you want to stop. If they won’t follow the law and stop contacting you then the debt collector shouldn’t be surprised when they get sued under the FDCPA.
Second, it compensates you for the aggravation of having to continue to deal with a collector even though you have asked them to stop. The FDCPA provides that you can get $1,000 in statutory damages if the debt collector continues to contact you after you have told them not to or hired an attorney to assist you with your bills.
Further, the FDCPA states that the debt collector will have to pay for your attorney and the court’s filing fees. Because of this most consumer attorneys like myself handle FDCPA claims for little or no money to start and go after the debt collector for our legal fees.
Dealing with Debt Collectors? We Can Help.
If you are tired of the non-stop phone calls and dealing with abusive debt collectors give us a call and we can help you put an end to your debt problems once and for all.
You can reach us at (480) 420-4028 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.