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DON'T BE HAMMERED BY YOUR DEBT

DON'T BE HAMMERED BY YOUR DEBT

Monday, November 12, 2007

POLL REOPENED

I reopened the poll and set it to run for an entire year. Let me know what you think.

How to Stop Harassing Collection Phone Calls and Profit From Them

If you are receiving calls from a debt collector who is harassing you and violating the FDCPA,
you can take action to put an end to that illegal activity. This article is not directed toward legally compliant FDCPA calls. However, if a collector is violating the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by making improper threats or allegations such as that he is going to have you arrested if you don’t pay the debt or he is going to tell your employer that you are a deadbeat, you can take action. The simplest, cheapest and quickest action you can take to stop harassing, illegal collection calls is to purchase a voice recorder. For a minimal amount of money at Radio Shack or other similar stores you can purchase a easy to plugin device which will allow you to record your own telephone conversations. At this point, I must give you a legal warning, however. The laws regarding the legality of taping telephone conversations vary from state to state. Some states are one party states and some states are two party states. That simply means that in a one party state only one party to a telephone conversation must be aware that it is being recorded for it to legally be recorded. In a two party state, both parties to the telephone conversation must be given notice that it is being recorded for it to be recorded legally. Of course, in no state is it legal for a third party nonparticipant in the telephone conversation to record the telephone conversation without a court order. Regardless of whether you live in a one or two party state, I would highly recommend that you give the collector notice that you are recording the telephone conversation. This should have an immediate impact on the nature of the call. At the very outset of the telephone conversation, you should inform the collector that you are recording all of your telephone conversations and in a two party state, ask their permission to record the call. If a collector is prone to use illegal or harassing tactics, they will typically simply hang up rather than be recorded. If a collector is only occasionally prone to cross the line and use improper collection techniques, they will, once they know they are being recorded, mind their manners and be on their best behavior with regard to complying with the FDCPA. Therefore in the majority of cases, you will have eliminated the harassing nature of the collection calls, simply by placing the collector on notice that the call is being recorded. However, if a collector did violate FDCPA by harassing you or making illegal assertions or threats, you know have tape recorded evidence of that violation. You now need to do two things with that tape. First, you need to file a written complaint with the government authority or agency which regulates and governs debt collection agencies in your state. They typically will have a form online that you can print off, fill out and mail in. These forms typically do not carry much weight with the government agencies. However, if you make a copy of your tape and attach it to your complaint, your complaint now has instant credibility and will be given special attention. You should also copy the collection agency with the complaint and a copy of the recording. Secondly, you should file a complaint alleging violations of the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act with your local small claims court. FDCPA violation claims can be brought in any state or federal court. On the day of trial, you can give testimony that the call was received on a given date and at a given time and that you personally recorded it and then present the tape as evidence to the court. The tape should be sufficient evidence for you to recover the statutory fine or penalty of $1,000.00 as set forth in the FDCPA. In this way, you have not only put a stop to the harassing phone calls, but you can even profit from them giving yourself $1,000.00 per violation to pay your debts