No doubt some debt collectors feel protected by the anonymity of a telephone call, but they are simply not allowed to harass you.
Harassment by debt collectors in California is so common that the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act has become an important part of fighting against their unfair collection tactics. Debt collectors are forbidden from doing and saying specific things that are considered to be unfair, deceptive or abusive.
Owing money does not make you a criminal and you should never let a debt collector treat you that way!
There are certain things debt collectors cannot do. If there is a debt collector doing any of the following things to you, contact the Law Office of Paul Mankin immediately:
- Collectors are only allowed to call you during reasonable hours, generally considered to be 8 AM to 9 PM.
- They cannot contact you at work if you ask them not to.
- Debt collectors cannot harass, oppress, or abuse you.
- They cannot lie when trying to collect debts.
- They must identify themselves to you on the phone.
- If you do not want to be contacted anymore, and you ask them to stop in writing with a cease communication letter, they are not allowed to contact you.
- Debt collectors cannot discuss your debts with any third party, with a few limited exceptions
Remember, if you mail a debt collection company a cease communication letter, its agents have to stop. All you have to do is write a letter telling the company you are asserting your rights under the FDCPA and you are requesting that they do not contact you anymore. Send this letter via certified mail so that an employee must sign for the letter; you will receive a receipt letting you know that the company received it. After the company has received your letter, they are allowed to contact you one more time-but only to let you know what action, if any, that they will take next.
If a debt collector is harassing you and breaking any of these rules, call 800-654-9517 to contact the Law Office of Paul Mankin in Beverly Hills for a free consultation.
A lawsuit against an abusive collection agency can be eligible for damage awards of $1,000 or more, and the collection agency can even be required to pay your legal expenses.