There’s the phone again — and again and again.
It’s the debt collector and you think that you’re dealing with creditor harassment but you’re not sure. The debt collector calls keep interrupting your life and you aren’t able to get anything done because of them.
Every time the phone rings you jump and can feel your stomach turn. If you’re ready to see how to stop dealing with this problem, continue reading this article for the help you need.
Must-Know Tips for Stopping Creditor Harassment
If you find you are dealing with creditor harassment, you may want to speak with an attorney like a professional from McCarthy Law PLC or another professional firm. If it is found that the debt collectors are harassing you, you may have a case against them.
What Is Creditor Harassment?
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act says that debt collectors are in no way to harass, abuse or oppress anyone they contact.
When you are getting creditor calls over and over again, when they use rude or obscene language or threaten violence, this is all considered to be harassment.
If they publish your name in public anywhere or if they call you without identifying themselves then this is considered creditor harassment. In the case that a creditor is harassing you, you may be able to sue them and get damages from them as well as have them pay for your attorney.
There are more things that creditors aren’t able to do to you and one of those things is misrepresentation. If they say anything false about your debt or anything related to your debt then they may get into trouble.
If they attempt to trick you or tell you falsehoods of any type, this is unlawful.
If they say that they are an attorney and they are not or if they say you owe more or less than you truly do then this is also unlawful. Make sure you keep records of your bills and how much you owe in case a creditor does try to say you owe them more than you do.
If a creditor ever sends you documents then you should keep these files or papers where you can access them easily. If you end up going to court over creditor harassment then you’ll need to have as much proof as you can gather.
Stopping Harassment from Debt Collectors
When you’re financially strapped, the last thing you need is a debt collector calling you and sending your blood pressure through the roof. If you’re getting phone calls or experiencing other harassment from creditors then these following tips will help you get back in control of the situation.
1. Know Your Rights
Before you can start to work on decreasing or stopping the calls and letters, you need to check on what your rights are. If you don’t know your rights, you may be suffering from unlawful harassment.
We spoke about what harassment is in the content above but you should check to see what the laws are in your specific areas. One of the laws you might find helpful is that the creditors can’t call your phone after 9 p.m. or before 8 a.m.
2. Make Sure the Debt is Proven
If you’re continually getting calls about debt but you can’t remember what it was or if you did it, you need to ask for proof. If a company can’t prove that you owe them the debt then you don’t have to pay it.
Someone else may have used your name or address to create a debt and if that is the case, you will need to speak with someone to help you get control of your identity back which is a whole other problem of identity theft.
3. Work Out a Payment Plan or Negotiate Lower Payments
The fastest way to get debt collectors to stop calling you is to work out a deal with them. There are a lot of different deals you can work out with them depending on how much they are willing to negotiate.
If you call them to negotiate but you don’t go with their initial offer and you call back again, the initial offer usually isn’t on the table anymore. Most of the time they will not give you as good of a deal the next time that you try to work out a deal.
You can ask them about a long-term payment plan but most creditors want a few large chunks of payments if you want them to get off your back about the debt. Most people are living paycheck to paycheck and coming up with large chunks of money isn’t usually the easiest thing to do.
Some people choose to opt for installment loans to pay off their debt but most of the loans they can get are high interest, which puts them in an even worse position.
4. Seek Legal Help
Seeking legal help may be the only thing you can do if you’re at the end of your rope trying to get the calls and letters to stop. If people see that you’re having financial problems it can harm your chances of getting a job and if you have a security clearance, it may be revoked.
Before you dismay, make sure to speak with an attorney and ask them how you should move forward with your situation. You may have a case against the creditor if they are harassing you and you’re able to prove it.
How to Pay Off Your Mountain of Debt
It feels like you have a mountain of debt and the phone calls, letters and other problems that keep popping up aren’t helping. Here are some ideas to help you pay off your debt to calm the creditors and keep your sanity.
Assess Your Current Situation
When most people get into a tight spot, they take the ostrich approach and put their heads in the sand. If you’re doing this, there is no way you’re going to get out of the situation that you’re in.
You have to figure out how much money you owe and who you owe the money to. If you aren’t sure how much money you owe then creditors can say that you owe them money that you don’t and you won’t even know it.
Look at the Interest Rates on Your Loans
Once you see how much and who you owe, you need to look at the interest rates of each of your loans. The ones that have the highest interest rates may be the best option to pay off first but that’s not always the case.
See this next point.
Pay off Smallest Bills First
If you have small bills that will be easy for you to pay off then it makes sense to get them off of your plate first. If you can decrease the number of people that you owe, this will make you feel like you’re making progress.
Not only will you feel like you’re making progress but you’ll be able to use the money that you would have been putting toward the minimum payment of that bill to pay extra on another bill.
Take on Extra Work
There are many opportunities to take on side gigs from driving from Lyft and Uber to doing tasks on Task Rabbit or other similar sites. If you’re maxing out your current paycheck then taking on extra work might be the best option for you.
If you take on extra work, you’ll have more money and you’ll have less time to spend it. Make sure you’re tracking all of the extra money that you’re making and putting it into your pay debt down fund.
Pay Double Payments
If you get to a place where you can make double payments, you’re going to put a major dent in your debt which will allow you to get your financial situation under control.
Take the money from your extra work that you’re doing and put it toward paying more on the loan you’re working on. If you can pay more than double on the loan then do this as well and you’ll be surprised how quickly you’re able to pay off what seemed like a mountain of debt that you could never scale.
Learn More Life Tips
Now that you understand more about stopping creditor harassment, you may be ready to learn more important information. We’ve compiled pages and pages of information for your use so make sure that you bookmark your favorite sections and come back soon to learn more.