How to Make Debt Collectors Stop Calling

Keeping Debt Collectors at Bay: Your Comprehensive Guide

Experiencing financial difficulties and struggling with debts is stressful enough, but incessant calls from debt collectors can add another layer of anxiety. This guide provides a thorough understanding of the process of dealing with debt collectors and offers strategies on how to make debt collectors stop calling.

Understanding the Role of Debt Collectors

Debt collection agencies are businesses that focus on recovering unpaid debts. If a borrower fails to make the required payments on credit cards, lines of credit, or loans, these agencies may step in. Prior to any contact, they usually send a written notice that includes:

 

  • The name of the debt collection agency;
  • The name of the person or business to whom the money is owed;
  • The total amount owed.

 

The Powers and Limitations of Debt Collectors

Debt collectors’ activities are not unbounded. There are specific things they are allowed to do, and some they are prohibited from doing.

What They Can Do

Debt collectors have several strategies at their disposal:

 

Workplace Contact: They can verify your employment status and contact details, and even garnish your wages if permitted by law. However, they cannot disclose any personal debt-related information to your employer.

Contact Your Acquaintances: Debt collectors may reach out to your friends and family to confirm your contact details. If any of these individuals co-signed a debt, the agency can ask them directly for payments.

Visit Your Home: Although uncommon due to costs, debt collectors can visit your home or workplace to seize property if there is valid security, such as a car or furniture.

Threaten Bankruptcy: Some collectors may intimidate individuals with the threat of involuntary Bankruptcy. While it is technically possible, it is rarely executed for personal debts and is often used merely as a scare tactic.

Request Payment: As representatives of the original creditor, debt collectors can charge interest and collect money based on the terms of the original agreement.

Settle for Less: With the approval of the original creditor, or if they own the debt, collection agencies can agree to accept a lesser amount. However, it’s crucial to get this agreement in writing before making any payments.

Legal Action: Debt collectors can take you to court if the original creditor has the right to do so. However, this is usually unlikely for small debts due to associated costs.

Freeze Your Bank Accounts or Garnish Your Wages: This can only happen if the court gives the creditor permission to do so.

 

What They Can’t Do

Debt collectors must abide by the laws outlined in the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act. Key restrictions include:

 

  • They can only call you between 1-5 p.m. on Sundays, before 7 a.m. or after 9 p.m. on weekdays and Saturdays, and not at all on statutory holidays.
  • They must not discuss your debt details with anyone without your permission.
  • They must not contact you in a way that costs you money.
  • They must not use threatening or intimidating language.
  • They must not put undue pressure on you.
  • They must not threaten to sue you unless they are actually taking legal action.
  • They can’t try to collect any amount more than what you owe. They can’t apply their own interest rates or fees, but can charge interest at the rate in your initial credit agreement.

 

How to Make Debt Collectors Stop Calling

While debt collectors can contact you to request payment, you have the right to ask them to only contact you in writing. This can be done via email, registered mail, or fax. It’s important to keep records of these communications.

However, this might only provide a temporary respite as the debt may be transferred to another collection agency, initiating a new cycle of calls. An outstanding debt can continue to trigger calls from different agencies until it’s cleared.

Filing a Consumer Proposal or Bankruptcy can offer a more permanent solution. Once either of these government-approved options is filed, a stay of proceedings is created, preventing any collection agency or creditor from contacting you or attempting to collect money from you.

Consult with Experts

When it comes to dealing with debt collectors, professional advice can be invaluable. At Derek L. Chase & Associates, we offer a free initial consultation to discuss your options. Don’t let the fear of debt collectors control your life. With the right knowledge and strategy, you can regain peace of mind.

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