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Stop Debt Collectors

Stop Debt Collectors

Are you being harassed by debt collectors? They may be violating your consumer rights. See how you can protect yourself against unfair debt collection practices.

Did you know that approximately 28 percent of people in the U.S. with a credit file have some debt being collected by a third-party service. Unfortunately, not all of these third-party collectors are reputable, or follow the law when collecting debts.

💡 In fact, in 2018, the FTC “secured permanent bans against 32 companies and individuals who engaged in serious and repeated violations of law, barring them from ever working in the debt collection industry again.”

How can you solve the problem on your own?

Fortunately, consumers are protected from these awful practices through an important law known as the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA).

Under the FDCPA, debt collectors must follow strictly regulated guidelines when it comes to collecting debt. Some of the requirements include:

  • Providing a written debt validation letter within 5 days of initial contact

  • Responding to all debt verification requests and pausing collections until the debt is verified

  • Not calling at unusual hours or places

  • Not exposing that you owe debts to friends, family, and employers

  • Communicating with your attorney if you have one rather than you

  • Respecting requests to stop all collection calls

What can I do if a debt collector contacts me?

If someone claiming to be a debt collector contacts you, stay calm! The first step is to verify the identity of the debt collector and make sure it’s not a scam. Do NOT provide any of your personal information until you’ve received the debt validation letter in writing.

Here are the steps we recommend:

  1. Review the debt validation letter and verify the amount owed, the original creditor, what the debt was for, and the identity of the collector

  2. If you have any questions or don’t think the debt belongs to you, file a debt verification request. If the statute of limitations on the debt is close to expiring, it may also be beneficial to simply ignore the collection and wait it out.

  3. Once you’ve verified the debt, you have a few options. You can:

  • Pay off the debt

  • Ask for the debt collector to stop contacting you. Once you make this request, they are legally required to stop contacting you, but they may escalate the case with a lawsuit

  • Specify how you want them to communicate with you, whether it’s through your lawyer or asking them not to call you at work

  • Report them to the FTC and CFPB for unethical debt collection practices if you believe they’ve violated the FDCPA

💡 Note: There’s also a chance the statute of limitations on your debt has expired, in which case the debt collectors can no longer file a lawsuit against you. DoNotPay can help you determine whether your debt has or is about to expire.

How Can DoNotPay Help?

Not sure where to start? DoNotPay can help.

Whether you were just recently contacted or have been harassed for months, DoNotPay can help you figure out whether your debt collector is compliant with the FDCPA. After guiding you through a series of questions, we’ll help you determine what course of action you should take, and contact the debt collectors with a demand letter on your behalf. If you choose to report the collection agency to the CFPB instead, we’ll file the complaint on your behalf.

How it works:

1. Search “debt collection” on DoNotPay

2. Answer a series of questions about the debt collectors, including when you were contacted and how you were contacted, so we can determine if they have violated any debt collection laws.

3. Decide which course of action you want to take based on our guidance, such as filing a debt verification request, demanding for the collectors to stop contacting you, or reporting them to the CFPB.

And that’s it! Once you choose the course of action you want to take, DoNotPay will handle the rest. We’ll deliver your request directly to the debt collectors via first-class mail, or file your complaint automatically with the CFPB so that they’re no longer able to use unfair debt collection practices.