Things are not always as dire as they seem when a person is in debt. In fact, a report from CNBC found that more Americans than ever before manage to dig themselves out of debt and that the number of people who expect to die with debt has decreased.
For those who remain in debt for a long time, one of the most troubling aspects of it is the looming threat of debt collectors incessantly calling over the phone. There are, in fact, guidelines for what collectors can say or claim over the phone. However, not everyone follows these rules.
Things debt collectors cannot say
There are many ways to get calls to stop. Filing for bankruptcy and talking to an attorney are a couple options, but it is important for everyday citizens to be aware of their rights and know when something a collector claims is false. Collectors cannot:
- Use language on letters or postcards that would inform a passerby of a person's debt
- Threaten loss of welfare benefits, loss of custody of a child and arrest
- Use insulting or derogatory language
- Call repeatedly at any hour of the day or night
- Call at work or inform an employer of a person's debt
- Publish a person's name in a public forum telling others of his or her debt
In the event a person experiences any one of the above actions, he or she should inform an attorney. A legal professional may be able to file a lawsuit against the debt collection, and the victim may receive damages as long as sufficient evidence exists. When debt collectors follow all the rules, people can still find relief by filing for bankruptcy. However, a person should not make that decision lightly. It is important for each person to weigh the pros and cons of each option to find the best course of action.