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Know how to spot debt collector harassment

Having to deal with bill collectors isn't on the top of anyone's list of fun things they can do during the day. There are some specific points that anyone who has to deal with debt collectors should know so that they can determine when legal attempts to collect a debt turn into harassment.

All debt collectors are bound by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. This act does more than just make sure that debt collectors are fair. It also sets some very specific guidelines for what debt collectors can and can't do.

First, they can't call you around-the-clock. They can only call from 8 a.m. through 9 p.m. Outside of these hours, bill collectors can't call you. Don't let them tell you that it is because they are in a different time zone than you. These hours are based on your time zone.

Second, they can't make threats when they speak to you. Unscrupulous debt collectors will claim that they are going to send you to jail or that they have police officers on the way to your house. This isn't possible, so don't fall for it. What they can do is take you to court to try to collect the debt.

Third, debt collectors have to give you a statement that lets you know your rights. For example, you have the right to dispute the debt. This means that the bill collector would have to verify that you owe the debt. In some cases, this isn't possible.

Ultimately, debt collectors who don't abide by the laws might end up having to pay for their errors. You might opt to seek compensation from them. Knowing your rights might be enough to make the harassment end.

Source: FindLaw, "How to Stop Debt Collector Harassment," accessed July 05, 2017

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