What to Do When a Debt Collector Calls?
It is important to ensure that your rights are protected. To protect these rights that you have, there are some specific steps you can take when a debt collector calls.
Keep Records.Meticulous documentation is important when dealing with debt collectors. A log of phone calls, voicemails, text messages and letters can be persuasive evidence to a judge or jury. Taken together, the records can show a pattern of behavior. Phone records can be downloaded from the websites of most cell phone providers. Save voicemail messages left by collectors.
Get Verification.In a debt collector's first communication with you, the debt collector must tell you that he or she is attempting to collect a debt and that any information obtained from you will be used for that purpose. In subsequent communications, the collector must tell you the debt collection agency's name.
Within 5 days of initial contact, a debt collector must provide in writing:
(1) The amount of the debt.
(2) The name of the creditor.
(3) A notice that unless the consumer disputes the validity of the debt within 30 days, the debt will be considered valid.
(4) That the consumer can request verification. All collection activities must stop during the validation process. If the debt collector does not provide the original creditor's identity, the collection must cease.
Tell Them They Can't Call You.A debt collector cannot contact you:
At an unusual or inconvenient time or place - calls before 8 a.m. and after 9 p.m. are presumed to be inconvenient (but, if you work nights and sleep during the day, a call at 1 p.m. may also be inconvenient).
Directly, if it knows, or should have known, that you have an attorney, or
At work if it knows that your employer prohibits you from receiving collections calls at work. (If you are contacted at work and you are not allowed to have personal calls at work, tell the collector that your boss prohibits such calls.)