We recently passed along a few general tips for our readers in Texas and elsewhere regarding how to respond to contacts from aggressive debt collectors (please see our blog entry dated May 2, 2014). A central recommendation for any challenged debtor is of course to secure the prompt and knowledgeable assistance of a proven bankruptcy attorney with ample experience helping clients resolve debt issues.
Today’s post expands on the theme of our earlier entry, providing additional information that we hope many of our readers with debt relief concerns find immediately useful, as well as encouraging.
A few words on that latter point first: Debtors who are being harassed by debt collectors should immediately note — and never forget — that they are far from helpless when dealing with over-the-top behavior that is uncivil and often illegal.
In other words, there are a number of actions that can be taken that are both purposeful and effective.
First, keeping cool is a must. Granted, that is often hard to do when an abrasive caller is screaming and spouting threats. Maintaining balance, though, is necessary in order to gather information and follow through.
It is certainly logical for a consumer to demand the caller’s identity, as well as the name, address and contact details of the company that is pursuing the debt. Particulars on the debt, too, should be asked for, in writing. Abusive behavior should be challenged.
And complaints can be filed. The repugnant acts of a debt collector can be reported to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Additionally, the state attorney general’s office can be notified. A consumer can write the collector’s employer.
And, of course, a seasoned debt relief attorney can provide immediate and effective assistance, both in a bankruptcy matter and with any debt-related issues that are open to negotiation.
Source: U.S. News & World Report, “How to deal with harassing calls from a bill collector,” Geoff Williams, May 13, 2014