Hexxenhammer wrote: So, ask the collector what you need to do to cease collection activity. This usually means writing or faxing them a letter saying you want no calls or letters to such and such a phone number and address. If they call you after that, they're breaking the FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act).
Cool enough; but the collector is still owed money. Without being able to call or contact a debtor, how are you supposed get your money?
Oops, nevermind - didn't see the above.
I had a run-in with a debt collector a few years ago. It wasn't too significant a debt, and I managed to get it all paid off...but what a hassle! Never again.
What bothered me about their tactics isn't so much the calling itself, but how they handled it. I was dealing for a few weeks with a nice lady, who had set me up a payment plan and everything, and it was going great...until somebody decided I could be coerced to pay more...so I was "handed" over to this guy. Very aggressive.
He said, "Is there any way you can pay this off faster? Because we've reviewed the payment plan, and they've decided it is not acceptable." He asked me if there was anywhere else I could get the money. He asked all kinds of invasive questions about how much I made at work, and whom I lived with. When I told him I lived with my parents, he practically commanded me to ask them for money. I told him it wouldn't work, he told me, condescendingly, "ask anyway, they'll understand". When I told him I had applied for a new job that might pay more, he wanted to amend the payment plan to reflect my new wage (so in December, you can start paying $50 more every check?) - I hadn't even gotten the job yet. The last straw was when he informed me that I HAD to get a checking account, give them the number, and have my check direct-deposited. "We need proof that you're going to stick to the plan" he said, by way of justification. I'd had enough. I wrote a letter to the company itself, demanding that I would only deal with the nice lady I'd been talking to previously. It was a nearly traumatic experience, and I didn't know how to deal with it because I knew nothing about debt collectors (I know a bit more now).
I read the FDCPA, and most of it seems all right...but things like "the debt collection agency's name on the envelope" wouldn't bother me at all. What bothers me is the pressure, especially to defer priority to this debt rather than hospital bills for example (because, he said, they'll always give you a few months leniency), or insisting that you borrow money from family members, or otherwise create some other kind of debt, to pay off this debt. Those
are things I think should be illegal.