When does Debt Collection Turn into Harassment?

(July 1st, 2007)

debt consolidation questionDear 3DebtConsolidation.com:

I have a problem with debt collection agencies. Debt Collection agency #1 calls me claiming i owe them $200, so i dispute that debt and ask for a debt validation letter. They do not respond to my debt validation request, instead sell my debt to Debt Collection agency #2 and this whole pattern repeats itself. Every 5-6 months, i have to send out a debt validation letter to each of these collection agencies costing me lots of money and time. Is this called debt harassment and what can I do to put a stop to it?

I have contacted my state's Attorney General and he said that I have to file a complaint against each of these agencies, which doubles the amount of paperwork i have to do. Those collection agencies think by changing their name all the time and harassing me like this, I will eventually pay off this debt. However, I will not pay this wrongful debt!

Dear Charlie:

Charlie, by asking for a debt validation request each time, you are certainly doing the right thing. The problem in your case is that the debt collection agencies do not respond to your communication, instead use new tactics to constantly harass you. Since you have proof of a debt validation request letter, you are safe from any court judgements going against you. The next time a debt collection agency calls you, ask them for the Debt Collector's name, company and address. If they send you a letter, that's even better because all the company information will be on it!

Next, you should file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. This is the Commission that's responsible for enacting the laws put in place by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Their address is:

Federal Trade Commission

Physical Address: Consumer Response Center, Washington, D.C., 20580-0001

Phone #: (877)-FTC-HELP

Website: www.ftc.gov

Next, send the debt collection agency that is harassing you a copy of your complaint to the Federal Trade Commission. This letter will definitely make the collection agency reconsider its harassment efforts against you, considering they could get into serious trouble if the Federal Trade Commission takes action against them.

I would also suggest the use of class action attorneys. Although a legal attorney would be too costly for your $200 claim, class attorneys look for patterns of abuse caused to the public. If your case turns out to be a series of debt collection agencies randomly abusing consumers across the country, this could become a class action lawsuit and the attorneys will not charge you for legal action. If these big class attorneys do not respond to your ideas, consider going to the Legal Assistance Office in your state. Their phone # can usually be found in the White Pages of your telephone directory.

Good Luck Charlie! Consider making a post to our forums (www.3debtconsolidation.com/forums) to see if our Forum members have any suggestions regarding this matter.