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Creditor harassment is serious: Here’s how to stop it

When you’re behind on your bills or struggling to make ends meet, the last thing you want to deal with is debt collector harassment. The good news is that there are ways to put a stop to it and to focus on getting back on your feet without the constant reminders of debts you’re behind on.

Debt collector harassment is illegal thanks to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The majority of debt collectors do follow the law and won’t do anything that can be considered harassment. Those who continue to harass you after you ask them to stop calling or cease communication can be held accountable.

How do you stop the harassment?

The first thing you need to do is to send a letter to the debt collector asking them to stop communicating with you. Your debt won’t be eliminated because you’ve sent this letter, but the debt collector will have to stop reaching out to you.

If you want to handle your situation after asking them to stop contacting you, you can consider disputing the debt, consolidating your debts, or filing for bankruptcy to see if you can get your debts discharged.

What should you do if the collector still harasses you?

Unfortunately, some unscrupulous debt collectors won’t stop contacting you even though you’ve asked them to stop. In that case, it’s valuable to keep documentation about each time the collectors have called or sent threatening letters. Document any illegal behavior, such as bullying or lying to get you to pay the debts. You may also be able to record those conversations, but it’s worth talking to an attorney before doing so to be sure that’s legal.

After this, you can make a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission or the State of Connecticut Department of Banking, our state’s agency dealing with creditor harassment. When debt collectors don’t respond to these actions, you may want to look into filing a lawsuit against them for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and causing additional stress in your life. You don’t deserve this type of harassment, and the law is there to protect you.