Friday, May 1, 2015
Can Collection Agencies Call Me On My Job?
May 1, 2015
This year I ordered my credit reports and I am seriously trying to pay my bills. What rights do collection agencies really have and can they call me on my job to harass me? Trying to Pay Bills in Virginia
Dear Trying To Pay Bills:
You have strong rights under federal law to prevent collection agencies from harassing you especially at your job. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act bars collectors from threatening to harm you, your reputation, or your property, and from using profane language or falsely claiming to be an attorney or a government representative.
The law also prohibits claims that you will be arrested or imprisoned if you don’t pay and it prohibits late-night calls and repeated phone calls intended to harass you especially at your place of business. Keep track of phone conversations and other interactions.
You can send a “drop-dead” letter by certified mail to a collection agency. Once they receive it, they can only contact you to let you know they will not bother you again or they will be filing a lawsuit against you.
File a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office if you are being harassed or if they are not legitimate. If they continue to harass you after that, you can sue them for actual damages, punitive damages of up to $1000.
To put more money in your pocket this year read “Recession Survival Guide: How To Get Back Into the Driver’s Seat” – available as an e-book and paperback.