Today, many debt collection agencies and collectors are successfully being sued to stop illegal debt collection practices and for illegally contacting creditors. The federal government 1977 Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) gives all consumers rights that many do not know about and that you can be sure that debt collectors will never tell you about.
One of the key benefits of this law is that it made it easy to get a debt collector to stop contacting you. You need to write them a letter stating that you want them to stop all further contact with you. The letter needs to clearly state that they need to stop contacting you. The letter that you send them is not an acknowledgment that you own them on any debts or outstanding bills. After you complete this notice, be sure to mail them the “cease and desist” letter, and send it by registered return receipt mail requested and then keep your proof of receipt of the letter being sent. Be sure to keep the proof for many years.
After this letter is sent, if a debt collector continues to contact you after that for any reason than this is where they may get themselves into trouble. The only communication they may have is to tell you they are either dropping the issue or the debt collector may take you to court. If they contact you for any other reason then you have the right to sue them for $1,000 each and every time they contact you. And you shouldn’t worry about the debt collectors taking you to court, as studies show that over 95% of collection agencies will not go to court as it costs them more money in the court process. Also they do not have good odds of getting anything from the court process, even with a judgment. So the chances of them suing you are fairly minimal.
Many consumers sue debt collectors and they win the lawsuits every day. It is estimated from various studies that over 90% of lawsuits against debt collectors are successful. The vast majority will be settled in your favor outside of the court system for a lot more than the original debt that is due. So what this means is by suing them you may “win” from the lawsuit more money than what you needed to pay them! Income qualified individuals may even be qualified for free legal representation. Find free legal aid resources.
In addition to stopping the debt collector by suing them, you of course also have the right, and should do it, to question the debt and bills that they say you owe. It is always a good idea to have the debt collector provide proof that you do owe them money. In addition to illegally contacting a creditor, there are many debt collection agencies that are being sued by debtors for their failure to provide proof that someone actually did not pay their bills. At any one time there are thousands of outstanding lawsuits against debt collectors for harassing collection practices.
You now know how to stop debt collection agencies from contacting you and ensuring they operate within the law. Get relief from and stop a debt collector by suing them. Maybe the best part is that if enough people sue them things will change for good, once and for all.
In addition to suing them, also be sure to use both your local and state resources and government agencies. For example, state Attorney Generals often go after debt collectors that break the law, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) pursues the worst abusers, there are consumer protection agencies (such as the Better Business Bureau), and, last, but not least, your state government department of finance and insurance can regulate debt collectors and they can also sue them as well. In addition, your state department of finance and insurance, or similar government entity, also has the power to punish, fine, and even ban the debt collection agency from operating in your state at all. What is most common is that every state across the country has laws or regulations that require a debt collection company or agency to be licensed and to also pay for a large financial bond (say around $50,000) to operate in your state.
If you are having problems with a debt collector, and if you call your state regulators, the regulator will often times get immediate results in your favor. You should not threaten the collection agency with the fact that you have these legal rights. Instead, just sue them. You need to bring the debt collection agency to its knees if they are violating your rights.
Many states even have regulations and programs in place to stop medical debt collectors. So if you owe money to a hospital or medical care provider, there are an entirely different set of laws in place.
Then if you continue to have a problem with a debt collection agency, or an unpaid bill, you can also bring it to the attention of your state and local politicians.
If enough consumers take these approaches... suing a debt collector, notifying an Attorney General, contacting a politician, etc. about illegal debt collection practices things will change. You can even write to your local newspaper, tell the TV station, tell a friend, or more! The more the word gets out for how to stop debt collectors, the much better the odds something will be done about it to stop them once and for all.
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