How to Get Bill Collectors to Stop Calling
You’ve heard the story. You may have even lived it. Daily calls from bill collectors—maybe even more than one bill collector—nonstop. Money is tight, the bills keep piling up, and the calls are endless. You know you can’t pay the bill collector yet, but you are working on it. In the meantime, the sound of the ringing phone haunts you. Sometimes, bill collectors may even take it a step further. They may try contacting your family members and neighbors, or try texting and emailing.
How do you stop the madness? You don’t have to resort to hiding. Check out these more effective options for breaking the endless call cycle. (Note: this won’t keep you from having to pay your bills, but it will keep your phone from ringing off the hook.)
Know your rights
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a federal law prohibiting debt collection companies from using harassment or abusive and unfair practices to collect debt from you. It is legal for a debt collector to call you, but there are limits to when and how they contact you. For example, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), debt collectors are not allowed to call you before 8 a.m., or after 9 p.m. They also cannot call repeatedly during work hours if they know your employer disapproves, or during any other hours you have previously told them are inconvenient for you.
It’s easy to feel frazzled when facing down debt collectors. Getting organized and keeping records can help you take control of your situation. Keep a written record of your calls. It can be helpful to document when each call takes place, who you spoke with and what they tell you. This can help you keep track of what you owe if you have more than one debt, as well as any inconsistencies in what your bill collector is telling you.
Know what your options are
Daily collection calls don’t have to be your reality. There is no law that you must communicate with bill collectors by phone. However, it may be helpful to speak to your creditor at least once to determine if they are legitimate, who they are collecting the debt for, the amount of the debt and when it was incurred. When speaking to a collector, do not give them personal or financial information until you have determined if they are legitimate.
If you want to stop calls completely, one option is to send a written letter to your bill collectors requesting they not contact you. Continuing to do so would violate the FDCPA (unless they’re contacting you to tell you they are ceasing their calls, or the creditor intends to take a specific action, such as filing a lawsuit). Here are some helpful tips for writing letters to your creditors. Make a copy of your letter. Also, purchase a return receipt so you can document what the collector received, and when they received it.
Get your financial freedom back
As we mentioned, stopping the calls won’t stop the debt, but it will give you a much-needed reprieve. During this reprieve, create a plan for paying off your debts. This can include debt settlement through one of our trusted partners, or negotiating your debts on your own. If you do choose debt settlement, you will work with negotiation experts. They work with your lenders to settle your debts for less than the full amount you owe.
We’re here to help throughout this process. If you have questions or want to learn more about your options, please give us a call at.