This is one topic you wish you’d never need to know about! Harassing calls from credit card debt collection companies can be a real pain! In fact, sometimes the pressure is so much that many people consider changing their phone numbers altogether. But that is definitely not the end to all your problems.
A credit card debt collection company is hired by your creditors to make you pay up the amount you owe them as soon as possible. They in turn are paid by the credit card company for extracting the payment from you. This is usually a part of the sum that they manage to recover.
A debt collection company is generally not a division of your credit card company, but its services are hired by them, to make sure that the offending party pays up. You can be hounded with phone calls, emails and even home visits pestering you to pay up, till you buckle under the pressure.
Credit card debt collection – rules of conduct for agencies
However if you’re being constantly harassed by threatening calls all day, you don’t have to live with it! The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act lays down certain ground rules, to limit their bounds of action, and also offers you your rights as a consumer. Just because you owe your credit card company money does not mean that it gives them the right to harass and threaten you.
Some of the prominent rules of conduct credit card debt collection companies are required to follow are:
- There are certain (inconvenient) hours in the day, when they are prohibited from calling you. Any calls before 8 am and 9 pm are considered a violation of the act.
- The calls should not be repeated so often so much so that your phone rings continuously or disturbs your work.
- Any deception, false pretences, pretending to be a lawyer, or represent the court is also strictly out of bounds.
- Using abusive language or threats to have you arrested or take legal action is also not permissible.
- If you have an attorney representing you, then all such communication cannot be directed towards you.
- Harassing you at your workplace is also prohibited in the Act.
- Before every call, the credit card debt collection agency needs to identify itself and the reason for the communication, and notify you about your right to dispute the debt if you wish to.
Tips for dealing with credit card debt collection companies
1. There are many people who are bullied into paying off debts for cards they don’t even possess just to get it off their credit report. If this happens to you, contact your lawyer and credit report company immediately. If you delay this, you may even stand the risk of losing the option to dispute the charge.
2. Be aware of your rights as a consumer. If you are being threatened, abused and constantly harassed, take action.
3. The presence of a credit card debt collection agency will definitely appear on your credit report, making things worse for you. However, if you’re willing to spend some more money and negotiate for long hours, you could get it removed.
4. Your bank accounts are at risk if you are not able to pay off the amount you owe to your credit card company. Make sure that your important accounts, numbers and details are not easily accessible to them. Once you give them access, you probably won’t have any savings left!
5. Lying or ignoring calls or communication from the credit card debt collection agency, though may be your first instinct, but will only make matters worse. You could get sued for the same!
Once you pay off the outstanding debt on your credit card, make sure that you get verification for the same. Make sure your credit card company reports the account as cleared too.