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With consumer debt at an all time high, it's no surprise that creditors want their money back. Business is booming for collections agencies, and they are getting more creative and aggressive with their collections practices. The majority of the complaints are not targeted toward the creditors themselves, but they are aimed at the collections agencies that represent these creditors. These third party collections agencies are aggressive, and downright ruthless. These aggressive agencies accounted for nearly 15,000 complaints filed with the Federal Trade Commission in 2001.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act of 1977 established some guidelines for collections agencies. These rules included no calling prior to 8:00 am, or after 9:00 p.m., calling you at your place of employment, threatening to garnish your wages, or threaten to take you to court. If you are fed up with these calls, you do have options.
Make it crystal clear that their phone calls are causing you emotional, and physiological distress. If you communicate that they are causing you distress, the call are supposed to stop. Write a Cease and Desist letter to the collection agency outlining the distress they have caused. If after your phone call, and your letter they still fail to comply, you can file a formal complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and your states Attorney General's Office.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|