Being in debt is tough enough, but once creditors start harassing you with letters and calls with threats, can be downright terrifying.  However, you still have rights.  The Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA) is the biggest and most useful weapon in your arsenal.

Under the CCPA, the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act (FDCPA) gives you the power to stop collection agencies from contacting you altogether, however, this act does not apply to the company that originally loaned you the money.  The FDCPA outlines a number of other rules that collection agencies must live by or they become open to a lawsuit:

  1. A collection agency may not contact your family, friends, neighbors, or employer.
  2. Collection agencies are not permitted to call before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. in your time zone.
  3. Use of racial slurs, obscenities, insults, or unreasonable threats are out of the question.
  4. No collection agency or its employee can pretend to be an attorney or court employee or create any communication that would look like it came from one.
  5. No collection agency can threaten you with arrest for an unpaid debt.

In order to invoke this power, send a simple cease and desist letter to the collection agency stating that you no longer wish to be contacted about this debt.  If you have hired an attorney, you can instruct the collection agency to contact them. Any violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act should be reported to the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-382-4357.  In the end, some creditors will try to intimidate you in order to get their goals accomplished.  Just remember that you have options available and do not have to deal with any harassment during you difficult financial times.

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