Harassment of debtors is a serious problem around the world. People who get behind on their bills may be doing the best that they can and still find themselves struggling to get ahead. Some may not even be able to keep up. Either way, that doesn’t give creditors the right to call and harass people, and you have options if you feel that you are being hassled.
Bear in mind that there are guidelines regarding how often these companies can call, during what hours they can call, and other details of their practices. If they are within the letter of the law and you’re just tired of the calls, unfortunately, there isn’t much that you can do. If, however, companies are calling repetitively, calling at all hours of the day and night, or threatening you in some way, you should report them immediately.
This isn’t to say that you won’t have to pay your debt—you’ll still owe the money. However, you will be helping to weed out the companies that should not be in business and that are going above and beyond their job roles to try to get money from people.
The Harassment of Debtors Act
Now, this doesn’t mean that every creditor is going to call and harass you if they realize that you haven’t paid your bill. This is generally the exception. However, with the increasing availability of automated dialers and AI, the nuisance level of some of these calls is on the rise and people are taking note. If you feel that you are being harassed, you should start taking note of all the calls you receive and compare them to the guidelines where you live.
Some creditors are just trying to do their job. They may call during reasonable hours and request payment, and they may even suggest that you pay a smaller amount or set up an arrangement to assist them in collecting the funds. This is all legal practice, as they’re allowed to discuss and negotiate with you in an attempt to collect. This is a positive form of debt relief. It’s when these companies attempt to threaten you or even suggest something like legal action or some other type of recourse that you need to start paying attention.
Everyone Deserves a Chance
Some people feel that because they are in a bad credit situation, they have no choice but to deal with these harassing calls and communications. However, that’s not necessarily the case. Even in the states where the laws regarding debt and credit are stricter, there is nothing that justifies harassment. If you are contacted by a debt collector that tries to threaten you, calls repetitively, or even uses profanity or tries to scare you into paying, that’s uncalled for and you don’t have to answer to it.
If you are trying to deal with your debts, it might be hard to find a way to handle these specific ones. Fortunately, when you are ready to pay, you can typically contact the company on your own to discuss repayment. You might even want to ask to speak to supervisory agents so that you can just make your payment without any harassment or other interference.
Whether or not you owe money, you don’t deserve to be harassed by creditors just because they want their money. Make sure that you’re taking care of your end of things and take notes on anything that seems like “harassment” so that you have an ongoing record of it for future needs. You do have rights and don’t have to feel like you’re stuck dealing with these companies that are acting like a loan shark or trying to bully you into paying what you owe.