Creditors Keep Calling Me: What Are My Rights?

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Creditors Keep Calling Me: What Are My Rights?

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Very few things are more aggravating and annoying then creditors constantly calling you at home or at work all day and all night. It can disrupt your home life and your performance at work. Unfortunately, this can be the goal of the creditor in order to intimidate you into making a payment directly to them.  

As a debtor you do have rights. Creditors and collection companies are legally not allowed to contact you with reckless abandon. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was put in place to protect debtors from creditor harassment. Below is a list of what creditors are allowed to do and what to do if a creditor does not comply with these guidelines.  

 collection calls

  • Hours They Can Call.  A creditor is allowed to contact you between the hours of 8:00am and 9:00pm, Monday through Sunday.  
  • Frequency of Calls.  If you speak with a creditor once during the day they are not allowed to contact you anymore throughout the day. This is also the case when you have spoken with them and have asked them to not contact you at work. If a creditor calls you outside of these hours or contacts you at work after you have asked them not to, or continually calls after your have spoken with them, it is important to write the following information down: 
    • Time and Date of Call
    • Creditor Name
    • Name of the Person who Called
    • Phone Number
  • Nature of the Calls.  The creditor knows you owe them the money and you know you owe them the money. This does not give them the right to use any sort of abusive or condescending language or make threatening statements about garnishing your wages or threatening criminal actions. A creditor is not allowed to threaten physical violence if the debt is not paid. This also applies to the creditor calling and threatening to take action such as seizing property or garnishing wages before a judgment has been filed. The language does not have to be vulgar to be classified as abusive or condescending. If a creditor uses this sort of language with you or makes these types of threats, it is important to gather and log the same information as above.  
  • Giving Information to Other People than the Debtor.  A creditor is not legally allowed to tell anyone besides the debtor the amount of the debt, how far behind the debt is or any other material information about the debt. The only time they can do this is when they have received a judgment and are moving to garnish a debtor’s wages are speaking with the employer.  
  • Posing as an Attorney Sending Documents that Appear to be from the Court.  A creditor is not allowed to call and say they are an attorney if they are not one. This can be a popular collection tactic but it is illegal! The creditor also cannot send documents that appear to be from the courts in order to intimidate debtors.  

 

Rob Taylor   

Rob Taylor is a contributing author for A Straight Talk on Debt. Rob tells it like it is when it comes to the latest debt industry news and shares his advice on personal finance.

 

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  • I get calls at any given time any day of the week, regardless of the fact that CareOne is making monthly payments.  I was notified by CareOne sometime after 9/08 that a creditor had been fully paid, but I just received a Demand for Payment from a collection agency representing that creditor!  I also received a small claims court paper that said there was an appearance scheduled for last Monday, 4/6/09, because of a $1,700 debt, but I have copies of all my correspondence to everyone, and this particular creditor never answered.  I spoke to their agency on the phone and was told they would be mailing me paperwork to sign and then would accept a payment plan....over a week later I'm still waiting for the papers.  My stomach is always sick, my life is a mess, and I've tried my best, but it's apparent that I'm the victim of some very scheming companies, in addition to the few reputable creditors who are accepting CareOne payments quietly.  This is a living hell that I don't wish on anyone.  Sadly, my credit was very good until we lost our son in 2006.  I could barely function let alone attend to bills and details, am in therapy for PTST after watching him slowly die in a coma, and on medications for anxiety, depression, you name it.  Guess I'm just venting.  Some days I think there is no creditor out there who can possibly make my life any worse, but mostly, I say prayers and hope I don't develop stomach ulcers.  Thanks for listening/reading!

  • that is where i am I have been through alot and I need Some Help Probably more than I thought please help me

  • If anybody needs legal help or advice, please go to prepaidlegal.com/hub/richardmatlin, they have helped me save 20,000 by sending letters to my creditors for free and now I have started to work with the company and I am making money also.  On my website you can see a 5 min video on what we offer, but basically for 36.00 a month you get unlmtd calls to a lawyer and they will send unlmtd letters on your behalf.  You get IRS audit protection, free will once a year, and 75 trial hours your first year and it goes up each year.  

    USA Today said that we are the next trillion dollar industry just like health care was 30 years ago.

  • Can your company help with removing items on a credit report?

  • is this  Robert Martin a part of Care One program

  • what I dont understand, if Care One is making my payments why do they still call!!!!   someone answer me

  • I get calls from Chase almost every day. They call me at work, on my cell phone and at home all in one day.

    I faxed a cease and desist letter to them on April 1 and again on April 9 (because they claimed to not have received the April 1 fax even though I had a successful fax report). On April 9, just to cover my bases, I also sent the letter via certified mail. My understanding is that they can call you one more time after receipt of the cease and desist letter. However, if they continue to claim to not have received it...this could go on forever!

    YESTERDAY, I asked them to stop calling me at work and the caller told me that if I didn't supply a number to replace the work number, they would HAVE to call me at work every day. I explained to her that she has my home and cell numbers and that she calls them regularly, but she said I had to replace that third number.

    THEN I told her that I had faxed the cease and desist letter not once, but twice and she claimed they had never received it...

    We have made 4 consecutive payments to them through CareOne. The amount we are paying is only the proposed amount because our proposal was denied back in February (after they claimed for 2months that they never received the proposal and a second had to be faxed). They will only deal with us if we go through their modification department. That process takes six weeks, so my only option at this point is to keep them on the program and pay them that amount every month until they get back to me on the payment that they want. I can't afford to do the program AND pay them the original monthly amount. I had to send them 10 pages of documentation to be considered for modification and I had to fax it twice AND send it certified mail until they finally admitted they received it.

    EVERY month, they call me and claim they didn't receive the CareOne payment. Once I point out that it appears on my Chase statement online, they back down. One time, early on, they called and talked to my husband instead of me, and the next day claimed he authorized a check by phone - which he had not...

    I am contacting the Federal Trade Commission if they call me at work today.

  • I just signed up for the debt settlement program today.  I'm beginning to wonder if this was the right choice or if it is better to claim bankruptcy.  I tried the debt management program, but find I just cannot afford it and need to take the next step.  What do you tell your creditors when they call?  Do you tell them that CareOne is trying to settle the account?  I also have called ID and wander if I should even talk to a creditor.  Suggestions?

  • What if you tell the creditor not to call, after a specific time, due to having family? They should not call before 9 AM, or after 7PM

  • Why don't people just pay their bills?????  I collect payments from people & think it is just TERRIBLE that people try & skip out on paying what they said they would.......people like this make my job harder!

  • TO Michelle, Its not about " Why people dont just pay their bills" its about people losing their jobs and cannot afford to continue making monthly payment to their creditors. I see your one of the those people, that dont have a brain to think. People loose their jobs, savings & assets, so how they are going to continue to pay their bills? I agree, there are some people that take out unnessesary credit, that they cannot afford, which is totally stupid of them, but then you have liable, trustworthy people who can afford it, but end up losing everything, so therefore cannot continue paying. One day you will lose your job and have backed up bills, then tell your self " why dont I just pay my bills"....

  • Michele lynn *** of

  • Michelle lynn ur a dickhead

  • you are a *ucking jerk. you obviously have never fell on hard times! food for your kids or pay a credit card? sorry michelle but my kids are gonna eat! unless you want to send some money this way since your perfectly on top of your bills, you should keep your comments to yourself. I did learn something from you though., *** come in all shapes and sizes.

  • that would be an ***hole michelle

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