Many people in Durham, North Carolina who find themselves struggling financially have experienced calls from creditors or debt collection agencies. Such bill collectors are required to adhere to certain federal requirements set forth in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. However, many do not and their communications can become harassing to those on the receiving end.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau advises that those who wish to put a stop to harassing communications from debt collectors should put their request in writing. Consumers who send such a letter should keep a copy and proof that it was sent. After receiving a cease harassment letter, the debt collector can only make contact to advise that it will be filing a lawsuit against the debtor or to confirm that it will no longer attempt to contact that person.
The National Consumer Law Center recommends including a few things in any cease harassment letter that is sent. First, the letter should explicitly state that it is a request for the collector to stop all communications. Senders should be sure to identify the account or accounts in question. In addition, discussing why payment cannot or should not be made and providing examples of harassment by the collection agency may be helpful.
Examples of harassing behavior include collection calls made after 9:00 p.m., attempts to contact a person’s friends and family about his or her debt and making threats. Finally, if a consumer is represented by an attorney, collection agencies are required to cease contact with the individual once so notified and communicate only through counsel.