Constant calls from harassing creditors are challenging enough without them pursuing debts that you already paid or never owed in the first place. The incessant hounding is a strategy by collectors to force their targets just to give in and pay.
Many people provide the documentation necessary to prove that they covered the bill’s balance, only to have the sinister cycle repeat itself months later.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) published an analysis conducted by the U.S. PIRG Education Fund’s database. The study revealed that 44 percent of all debt collector complaints involve collecting so-called balances not owed by the consumer.
The study also uncovered the lack of restraint debt collectors have when it comes to the number of times per day or week that they call. To make matters worse, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), when it does not involve harassment, doesn’t have a set number of calls.
Asserting consumer rights
Thankfully, consumers have significant rights. They can request in writing that a debt collector cease and desist contact, requiring that they comply. However, debt collectors can continue their pursuits by filing a lawsuit after the request.
Consumer advocates suggest various steps to put an end to an endlessly ringing phone. Those include:
- File a dispute within 30 days
- Request verification
- Directly tell the collector to stop contact
- Respond Immediately if the creditor sues
- File a complaint or lawsuit
Consumers having to spend time fixing a problem that does not exist is a waste of time. Still, efforts must be taken to stop incessant phone calls interrupting them at home and work.