02 Jul Make them stop calling
The strategy of debt collectors is to harass, frighten or shame their target into paying money that frequently really needs to go for essentials. Did you know that you may have the right to make them stop contacting you?
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act gives the consumer the right to tell a third party debt collector to leave them alone. It does not prevent the creditor from suing or a couple of other limited kinds of contacts, but it does prohibit the incessant phone calls and threatening letters that are intended to annoy you until you pay.
Californians have an even broader right to tell the original creditor to stop calling as well; California’s Rosenthal Act protects consumers from both the original creditor and the hired collector or debt buyer.
The key is sending a letter clearly stating your election not to be contacted. You can reference the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 USC section 1692c(c). In California, reference Civil Code Section 1788.17. Keep a copy of your letter and send it by a means of delivery that gives you proof that the letter was received.
There are times when inability to pay is temporary; other times when the individual needs to wait a while to file bankruptcy, or is judgment proof and doesn’t need bankruptcy if they could get the collectors off the phone.
Exercising your right to be left alone can restore a modicum of peace to your life.
Cathy Moran, Esq.
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