“I just got a call from a
debt collector, it’s the first call I ever got from them…what
do I do now?” The
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act provides a long list of do’s
and don’ts for a debt collector. If this first call was alarming,
or loaded with harassment or threats, call us and we can discuss
representing you at no cost to you.
Otherwise, perhaps the call was harmless or you let it go to
voice mail. Don’t be afraid to call back and ask questions. Find
out who they are, who they are collecting for, and if they will be
sending you anything in writing in the mail. Most importantly
TAKE GOOD NOTES. Keep a call log with you, and
when these calls come in, jot down the date, the time, the number
that appears on your caller ID, the name of the person that spoke
to you, and what was said.
If the call went to a location or phone, such as your work
number, where you cannot take these types of calls, tell the
collector. Be clear that you cannot take calls at your work or at
that number, or perhaps on a certain day or at certain times.
Collectors by law must modify their calling times and what numbers
they call if they receive notice that you cannot take calls at that
particular time or place.
Not all collectors are bad. Some present a meaningful
opportunity to settle a debt for less than the full balance. But
there are some unpleasant debt collectors, and though the first
call or two may not be that harrowing of an experience, many step
it up a notch on subsequent calls as their job is to collect money
that is owed. It is always best to keep a log when discussing
If you feel that you have been abused or harassed, that calls
are coming into an inconvenient location or time, or that the
collector is otherwise being deceptive, please call my
office for a free case review.