Debt Collection Agency Harassment Victims: Advice from a Consumer Expert
Victims of collection agency harassment can, and should, fight back. This is especially true in today’s business environment where debt buyers, private companies who purchase consumer debt for pennies on the dollar, attempt to collect debts using unscrupulous – and often illegal – practices.
In a recent interview, we asked Steve Recordon, an attorney from San Diego, California whose firm represents individuals who have been sued or harassed by debt buyers, to provide consumers with advice on how to deal with collection agency harassment. Here’s what he told us:
Document everything. The first thing they need to do is document. Obviously, we’re talking about telephone conversations here and emotions running high. They should stay calm and document the conversation as soon as they’re done. Write down everything the debt collector said. Write down all the circumstances surrounding the contact such as the time, what the debt collector said and what their response was.
I recently took in a case where the debt collector actually said to a young lady, ‘I know you can’t afford to pay this debt, but I know your father can.’ The reason they know this is because they’re illegally getting credit reports on the whole family. They actually knew which of her father’s credit card has the biggest limit on it and said to this distraught lady, ‘Let’s get your dad on the line here. He can help you out. I know he can.’
So, it’s very important to not only document your part of the conversation and their part of the conversation, but if they drag in third parties, you need to document and have the third party outline exactly what was said to them and exactly what they said back. Obviously, to take the case further, a lawsuit will be filed and supporting documents and evidence are important.
Remain calm. I would advise consumers not to play the debt buyers’ games. Don’t yell back at them, swear or threaten them. Just try to remain calm. Remember that these people are violating the law. There are remedies for these violations. Consumers need to stay calm and make sure that they’ve got their ducks lined up to be able to go after them.
Contact an attorney. The third thing they need to do is find an attorney that deals in this area and then let that attorney take over.
If you’ve been sued or harassed by a debt buyer / collection agency, contact an attorney whose practice focuses in this area of the law to discuss your situation. Consultations are free, without obligation and strictly confidential. To contact an experienced attorney, please click here. We may be able to help.
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