Debt collector abuse continues and FTC has heard about it

The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) has received a record number of complaints about debt collection so far this year, 164,361.  A large number of these are caused by bad behavior by debt collectors.  Companies (or lawyers) who do debt collection as a business are regulated very closely by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which tells them what they must do, and not do, when trying to collect a debt.   (They cannot call at odd hours, and they cannot tell you that they will take you to court unless they actually intend to do that, for example).  Unfortunately it is common for them to ignore these restrictions.  If you have debt collectors pursuing you, check out the rules here in our main article Fair Debt Collection Practices.

Do not waste time with debt collectors.

My advice has always been that you should not deal with debt collectors.  It is a waste of time.  All they do is hound you for every nickel they can get.  The good news is that you do not have to deal with them.  If you send them a letter like the one you will find here: Debt Collection Cease and Desist Letter , they have to leave you alone except to notify you of a court date.

The letter we drafted ends with a sentence saying that you will deal only with the original creditor.  If the debt is legit, then that is what you should say.  But if it is not, you should say “This debt is under dispute.”  If you want to explain why, that is fine, but they will probably ignore you.

There are many ways to deal with debts, including debt management plans and bankruptcy, and things you can do to straighten out your credit when it has an incorrect entry .  But dealing with a debt collector should not be on your list.

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