Some Illinois residents have problems with debt and need help. If you’re in this situation, you might suddenly have debt collectors constantly calling you. Once it crosses over into harassment, these are steps you can take to deal with it.
Send a cease and desist letter
The first thing to do when facing credit issues and continued harassment from debt collectors is to send a cease and desist letter. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), collectors are obligated to respect your no-contact request. If they don’t, you can then report them to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
However, unless you’ve taken other steps such as filing for bankruptcy, you’ll still have to repay your debts. Sending the letter as soon as possible is best; it can put an end to the harassment and prevent your credit from being further affected.
Document all instances of debt collector harassment under the FDCPA. If you have voicemails or paperwork, save it as evidence. If you answer phone calls with collectors, record them.
File a complaint
If collectors continue to contact you after you’ve requested them to stop, you can go even further and file a complaint with the FTC. You should include the debt collection agency’s name, the name of the creditor, all dates and times of contact, witness names and evidence of harassment.
You can also file your complaint with your state agency. Make copies to keep for your own records and send others to the collector and creditor. In some cases, the collection agency will offer to cancel your debt if you stop the complaint. This often works in your favor as the agency doesn’t want to be penalized for breaking the law.