MENU
Connecticut Bankruptcy Trustees David Falvey Logo
Call Atty. Dave Falvey for a Bankruptcy Consultation Today!
Connecticut Bankruptcy Trustees David Falvey Logo

We Stop Creditor and Collection Call Harassment

Tired of all the creditor calls from debt collectors? Are collection agents harassing you at work? You’re not alone. Many people who are in debt and have difficulties making payments, experience creditor collection call harassment on a daily basis. The good news is that it can be stopped, and we can help you sue them too.

The following are some of the common questions you may be asking yourself of which we will answer for you. Note each case is different but when it comes to the law under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) harassing collection debt laws are against the law and you can be compensated.

We are Debt Collection Attorneys that Help

Dave Falvey debt collection lawyerIf you are being harassed by debt collectors, hiring a debt collection attorney is your best bet at putting a stop to collection creditor calls permanently. Also, hiring debt collection attorneys to represent your case enables you to sue collectors for up to $1500.00 per call – something that can only be done by attorney. If you feel the harassing collection calls won’t stop, this could be a great opportunity for you to make a lot of money of their law-breaking. Give us a call for more information.

Can I sue a debt collector or collection agency?

Answer: Yes, you can sue either a debt collector or a creditor for violating your rights under the law. There are 4 laws which govern the conduct of a debt collector OR creditor when collecting a debt. If a debtor collector or a creditor violates these laws, the collector or creditor can be sued.

Debt Collection Laws Explained

The following is an explanation of the debt collection laws that are in place to protect consumers from harassing debt collection calling, creditor calls and debt collector harassment:

FIRST DEBT COLLECTION LAW: There’s a federal law called FDCPA or the Federal Debt Collection Practices Act. The law can be found at 15 United States Code 1692, et seq. THIS LAW ONLY PERTAINS TO DEBT COLLECTORS FOR CONSUMER DEBT. DEBT COLLECTORS WORK FOR THE CREDITOR. CREDITORS CAN’T BE SUED UNDER THIS LAW COMMERCIAL DEBT DOES NOT APPLY TO THIS LAW. The violation of this law calls for a maximum recovery of $1,000, plus attorney fees.

SECOND DEBT COLLECTION LAW: There’s the TCPA or Telephone Consumer Protection Act. This law can be found at 47 United States Code 227. THIS LAW APPLIES TO BOTH DEBT COLLECTORS AND CREDITORS. If a bill collector or creditor calls you on your cell phone to collect a debt, and you haven’t given them permission to call you, this is a violation of the TCPA even if you don’t talk to anyone.

This violation is penalized at $500 to $1,500. So even just receiving a creditor call on your cell phone to collect a debt, and you haven’t given permission to call you on your cell phone, and if you had 10 calls, you could claim at least $500 x 10 =$5,000 and the maximum would be 10 x $1,500 = $15,000 against the one creditor.

THIRD DEBT COLLECTION LAW: There’s the CCCA or Connecticut Consumer Collection Agencies Act. This law can be found at Connecticut General Statutes, Sec 36a-800, et seq. THE LAW APPLIES ONLY TO COLLECTION AGENCIES WHO WORK FOR A CREDITOR. A LAW FIRM IS A DEBT COLLECTOR WHO WORKS FOR A CREDITOR AND THIS LAW APPLIES TO ATTORNEYS.

FOURTH DEBT COLLECTION LAW: There’s the CCPA or the Connecticut Creditors’ Collection Practices Act. This law can be found at Connecticut General Statutes, Sec. 36a-645, et seq. THIS LAW ONLY APPLIES TO THE CREDITOR AND IT PARALLELS OR IS VERY SIMILAR TO THE LAWS WHICH PERTAIN TO BILL COLLECTORS!

Can collection agencies sue you under Debt Collection Laws?

NO, the debt collection laws clearly indicate that a collection agency cannot sue you. Only the creditor can sue you. Now some collection agencies purchase the debt from the creditor for pennies on the dollar and then sue you but, they are then considered a creditor because they ‘own the debt’.

Also, I have seen in Small Claims Court where collection agencies have filed law suits on behalf of the creditor.

Only an attorney can represent an LLC or Corporation in any court but I believe that because the debtors do not object to the law suit, the Small Claims Court turns a blind eye to this practice.

If a collection agency files a law suit on behalf of a creditor, you should object to the law suit on the basis that the collection agency is practicing law without a license and ask that the case be dismissed.

What are my rights against debt collectors?

The debt collection laws give you rights against debt collectors and harassing collection calls as follows. If these debt collections laws are broken, you can sue the debt collector and be compensated for your problems.

  1. They cannot call you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. They can be sued for this violation.
  2. They cannot contact you at work if you have told them either verbally or in writing that your employer doesn’t allow you to get such calls in the workplace. It is always best to write a letter and keep a copy. Before you tell them your rights which they already know, ask for the mailing address to mail a payment. Obtain the name of person to whom you are talking. (By law, they can give you a fictitious name.) Send them a letter return receipt requested. Keep a copy. Save the green card when it’s returned. Keep a telephone log. They can be sued for this.
  3. You have the right to withhold any sensitive or personal information .They can be sued for this violation.
  4. After you have been contacted by a collection agency, you have the right to receive within 5 days, the name of the creditor, and a statement that if you dispute the debt within 30 days of notice, you should send them a letter outlining your dispute. Failure to receive this information and you can sue them.
  5. If a bill collector sends you written notice of a debt, you have the right to having proof and verification of the debt owed. Unless verification of the debt is provided, the bill collector can’t proceed with any further communication in attempting to collect the debt. If they fail to send the verification of the debt, they can be sued.
  6. You have the write to send a letter to the collection agency and ask that they stop calling and/or writing to you. You should send this letter return receipt requested and any call or letter after the date signed on the green card, is a violation of the law whether that communication is in writing or telephonic. They can be sued for this violation.
  7. The collection agency cannot even imply that they have the support of the local police or any police. They can be sued for this.
  8. The collection agency can’t make repeated nor excessive phone calls. They can be sued for this.
  9. The collection agency can’t contact friends or relatives about you debt. They can ask friends or relatives for your address but they can’t discuss anything about your debt or why they are calling. They could be sued for any violation.
  10. You are not required by law to speak to a bill collector.

How to deal with debt collection calling?

The following is an example of how to deal with debt collection calling, creditor calls and collection agencies. It will explain what you need to say when debt collector calls you.

PROTECTING YOUR RIGHTS

(Don’t ignore the debt collection calls. Answer the phone. The calls won’t stop unless you answer the phone and write a letter.)

(You have answered the phone)

YOU: Hello

COLLECTOR: Is this Mary Smith?

YOU: Yes

COLLECTOR: Is this Mary Smith who owes Vulture Credit Card that ends in the digits 4576 and hasn’t paid on the account in 3 months?

YOU: Yes

COLLECTOR: DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN TO YOU IF YOU DON’T PAY? AND BY LAW I HAVE TO TELL YOU THAT THIS IS A COLLECTION CALL AND ANYTHING YOU SAY WILL BE HELD AGAINST YOU IN A COURT OF LAW BECAUSE I’M TAPE RECORDING YOU RIGHT NOW!

YOU: I realize that this is a debt collection call. But there’s so many scams going on lately that I want to make certain that this isn’t a scam collection call. Please give me your phone number and I’ll call you right back and if I don’t call you, you can call me right back. And who should I ask to speak with?

COLLECTOR: YOU BETTER CALL ME RIGHT BACK OR THERE WILL BE HELL TO PAY.

YOU: Oh, I’ll call you right back. But what is your number? Do you have a toll free number? And who should I ask for?

Make sure to obtain the following information:

  1. Telephone number
  2. Name of collector
  3. Date of call
  4. Time of call

(Now you have identified who called you. Many times their number is blocked especially the “rogue collection agencies”. A “rogue collection agency” can be staffed by ex-convicts!)

See: New York Times article by Jake Halpern, “Paper Boys – Inside the Dark, Labyrinthine, And Extremely Lucrative World of Consumer Debt Collection” – August 14, 2014.

Now you call the collector back because they are going to call you anyway, but first you have written down the date, time and telephone number. Collectors have a right to use a fictitious name so it will probably be fictitious but that’s ok. Make sure to write down the name the collector gives you.

COLLECTOR: It’s a good thing, you worm, that you called me back because we were prepared to file a lawsuit against you and take your first born, attack your wages, your bank accounts and if you own a home, put a lien on it.

YOU: Oh, please don’t do that. I’ll really try to send you a payment. How much should I send?

COLLECTOR: Send us $xx.xx amount immediately or better yet we’ll take it directly from your bank.

(This was once an illegal collection tactic. But I still consider it illegal.)

YOU: Oh, no, I don’t have any money in the bank and my (wife/husband/boyfriend, girlfriend, etc.) would not allow this. We have a joint account. I have to say ‘no’, that I can’t do this but where do I send $xx.xx.? I don’t know if I can really do this because money is so tight but I’ll review my budget and see if I can do this. I am not promising that I will do this but I’m promising to look at my expenses and see if it’s feasible.

COLLECTOR: If we don’t receive the money, I’m personally going to call you. And I don’t have to tell you what this means!

YOU: Oh, please spare my family, my bank account, my wages and my home and really, I thank you for your call to remind me of my obligations.

Next, send one of my form letters (see sample letters below) and send it Return Receipt Requested. Make a photocopy of the signed letter before you mail it. Then if they call you again, write down the date, day of the week, and time and, of course, who it was that called.

Now, if you haven’t sent any payment and the same collector calls you again – you have to plan on getting your letter to the post office and enough time for them to receive it, and for the green card to be mailed back to you. Therefore, if you tell them 3 weeks or 4 weeks and you plan accordingly, you should have the green card returned to you before the date when they call.

(Second Collection Call)

COLLECTOR: You said on ‘such and such a date’ that you were going to mail us payment. You failed to send this payment. What’s your excuse, worm?

YOU: Who is this calling?

COLLECTOR: This is Mr. White Shark from the Shark Collection Agency, you worm.

YOU: I didn’t promise to send you payment. I promised to review my finances. But I sent you a letter which said to stop calling me and I told you in the letter that I find your calls to be harassing.

COLLECTOR: I am going to continue to talk to you, worm. You know what you are? You are ‘low rent’. And you are a poor excuse for a worm. You didn’t send us any letter.

YOU: Well, I sent it return receipt requested and I have the green card proving that it was received and signed and in the letter I clearly gave you notice that I find your calls to be harassing.

COLLECTOR: Are you trying to play lawyer with me worm? This means nothing. You owe the money and you better give us permission to withdraw the money directly from your bank.

YOU: Well, I have been told that once I sent you that letter, you can’t call me again.

COLLECTOR: Who told you this?

YOU: A lawyer.

COLLECTOR: That lawyer doesn’t know nothing. You were talking to a nickel and dime baloney lawyer. And you know why I call him a baloney lawyer? Because he eats baloney sandwiches for lunch. That’s not the law and there’s no such law.

(The above is a verbatim transcript of an actual collector!)

COLLECTOR: When our law firm of Barracuda, Barracuda and Shark finishes with you, worm, you won’t even be able to be ‘chum’. (‘chum’ is fish bait).

YOU: I have had all I can take. I’m calling my lawyer. (Hang up)

The above is obviously an exaggeration ,’somewhat’, of what has happens to some people. Many collectors have been trained not to be this wildly aggressive and this type of behavior has slowed down considerably because the collection agencies have been sued many times.

IMPORTANT NOTE: I tell clients that even if the collector is polite, civil and “professional” – ‘we’re here to help you’, ‘we want to help you budget’, ‘we want to work with you’ etc. – if you find the calls to be harassing, then they are harassing because you are at your wits end and are embarrassed; but you still must send a “cease and desist” letter.

If the collection agency is efficient and professional, they won’t call you again. I advise clients to be civil and polite to a collector even when that collector is rude and obnoxious. Never raise your voice and do not use profanity.

Why send a letter to stop debt collection calling?

Protecting Your Rights

By sending a ‘cease and desist’ letter to a debt collection agency, you will have absolute proof that the collector knows that you find his calls harassing. You have rights but you have to PROVE that your rights were violated. There’s an old lawyer’s saying, “Solid Proof means you have a Solid Case!”

Under the FDCPA law, 15 USC 1692c- “Ceasing Communications”: If a consumer notifies that further communication with the consumer should cease, the Debt Collector shall not communicate further with the consumer with respect to such debt except:

  1. To advise the consumer that the Debt Collector’s further effort are being terminated.
  2. To notify the consumer that the Debt Collector or Creditor may invoke specified remedies which are ordinarily invoked by such Debt Collector or Creditor or
  3. Where applicable to notify the consumer that the Debt Collector or Creditor intends to invoke a specified remedy.

Sending a written letter to the Debt Collector demanding that they cease further calling you is the most valuable tool in your arsenal of rights for ending debt collection harassment. I cannot over-state the value of sending your ‘cease and desist letter’.

Sample Letters

How to stop harassing collection calls at home?

Below is a sample letter which you can copy, fill out and send to the collection agency in order to have them stop calling you at home:



Mary Collector, Office Manager

XYZ Collection Bureau
100 Main St.
Anywhere, CT 00000

CERTIFIED RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED
7011 0110 0002 2129 2444

Date: __________

RE : Account # ___________________
Creditor: ___________________

Dear Ms. Mary Collector:

Your agency telephoned me at HOME at approximately __________ (TIME) on ______ (DATE). I found your phone call to be harassing, annoying and intimidating. I am trying to pay my bills and straighten out my current financial situation.

Please do not call me at work or at home. My employer does not allow me to discuss personal matters at work and your calls to my home are very annoying.

Sincerely,

John Jones
21 Elm St.
Anywhere, CT 00000


How do I stop harassing collection calls at work?

Below is a sample letter which you can copy, fill out and send to the collection agency in order to have them stop calling you at work:



Mary Collector, Office Manager

XYZ Collection Bureau
100 Main St.
Anywhere, CT 00000

CERTIFIED RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED
7011 0110 0002 2129 2444

Date: __________

RE : Account # ___________________
Creditor: ___________________

Dear Ms. Mary Collector:

Your agency telephoned me at WORK at approximately __________ (Time) on _____ (DATE). I found your phone call to be harassing, annoying and intimidating. I am trying to pay my bills and straighten out my current financial situation.

Please do not call me at work or at home. My employer does not allow me to discuss personal matters at work and your calls to my work are very annoying.

Finally, I do not want you to call me at work under any conditions and I forbid you from contacting neighbors, friends or relatives.

Sincerely,

John Jones
21 Elm St.
Anywhere, CT 00000


What if I can’t afford a lawyer? How can I enforce my right not to be harassed?

PROTECTING YOUR RIGHTS WHEN YOU CAN’T AFFORD A LAWYER

If we believe that your rights have been violated, then we will represent you on a CONTINGENT FEE BASIS.

This means that if we don’t obtain a recovery for you, there are no legal fees. That’s right. We are only paid if we make a recovery for you.

It’s not necessary even to follow my procedures as outlined above in stopping harassing phone because we have to hear the facts of your specific case.

For most cases, by following the procedures that the law requires by writing a letter, you will greatly increase the odds that we will represent you on a CONTINGENT FEE BASIS.

If you have followed my procedures, THE ODDS ARE that when we review your case, we’ll see that your rights have been violated, and we will represent you on a CONTINGENT FEE BASIS. But again first, we have to review your specific facts.


We have also put together a video featuring Atty. Dave Falvey of whom goes into great detail to explain the legal ways to stave off creditors from phoning you, and some recent news related to the FDCPA.

If you’re tired of all the games and calls by collectors, and you want to find out if you can also sue collectors, simply give us a call now, or request a free consultation – our firm is eagerly awaiting your call so we can help you put an end to harassing collection calls once and for all.