On behalf of Law Office of Paul Mankin posted in Consumer Protection on Monday, March 7, 2016.
In California and across the country, there are very strict regulations about when and how debt collectors can call individuals they believe to be in debt. Yet, debt collectors can be relentless and act outside the law, calling you at all hours of the day, threatening you and causing emotional distress to you and your family. How do you know if your debt collector is breaking the law? And how can you stop them?
What can't debt collectors do?
Among other things, debt collectors cannot:
- Threaten to harm you or your property
- Use obscene or profane language when talking to you
- Call you at work if you have asked them, in writing, not to
- Call you before 8 a.m.
- Call you after 9 p.m.
- Call repeatedly over a short period of time with the intention to annoy you
- In most cases, contact your family or loved ones to collect on the debt
- Contact you if you have filed for bankruptcy
How can you stop them?
You have a few options:
1. Send a certified letter: You can send a certified letter to the debt collector asking them to stop contacting you. If you do that, they must stop or they can face legal action. Of course, they can still bring a lawsuit against you to collect on the debt.
2. Take them to court: If the debt collector has broken any of the above rules, you can take them to court. You may be entitled to $1,000 for every violation against you. The reality is that some debt collectors won't stop until you call them out, and an attorney can help you do just that.
3. File for bankruptcy: Finally, if you are facing financial challenges that keep growing, you may want to consider filing for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy stops all debt collector calls -- illegal and legal. It can also erase the debt or help make it more manageable.
You don't have to put up with harassing or threatening calls. Learn more about how to stop debt collection harassment. Speak with a lawyer to get the help you need now.