Harassing debt collector phone calls and the law: The Real Deal

Published 05/21 2014 04:33PM

Updated 05/21 2014 06:44PM

Syracuse (WSYR-TV) – Just how far can debt collectors go? Some NewsChannel 9 viewers say they’ve been receiving harassing and, sometimes, threatening phone calls.

The Federal Trade Commission says that, by law, a debt collector may not:
  • Use threats of violence or harm
  • Lie to you
  • Claim they represent the government
  • Threaten arrest or legal action
  • Use profane language
  • Use the phone to repeatedly annoy someone
  • Call before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
  • Contact you at work if they have been told not to
To keep a debt collector from contacting you, the FTC says you should make a request in writing and send it by certified mail to the collector.

Once they receive that letter, they are forbidden by law from contacting you unless it is to alert you to a specific action, such as a lawsuit.

Such a letter does not change the status of the debt, but it will stop them from contacting you.

If the letter doesn’t work, you can call the State Attorney General’s Office at 1-800-771-7755.

If there’s something you want to know the Real Deal about, give us a call at (315) 446-9900 or email YourStories@LocalSYR.com.

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