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How can I stop debt collectors from contacting me?

While the end of year draws celebrations and family gatherings, many individuals are confronted with a reality of financial challenges that will continue to loom after all the confetti and party favors are cleaned up and disposed. Credit card debt is a common worry and cause for stress, especially for people in Kentucky facing unemployment. Increasing expenses, an inability to pay interest and lack of income often results in collection companies calling at all hours.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was created to protect debtors from collectors who use deceptive and abusive tactics. The Federal Trade Commission enforces the acts and limits the actions that debt collectors may take for personal, family and household debt. The FDCPA explicitly lays out the limitations of contact that a collector can have with a debtor. After initial communication has been made, the debtor has the right to stop tell the collector to stop contacting them. This will not erase the debt or stop the collector from taking further actions, such as filing a lawsuit, to collect the debt, but it should stop collection calls and letters.

A debt collector may only contact third parties to find the contact information of the debtor. They are not allowed to discuss the debt with others. They are also obliged to give the debtor information about the debt, including how much is owed and when it was created, if the debtor requests this.

Settling a debt is no easy task if financial problems continue to mount. Many people decide to file for bankruptcy to prevent litigation from being pursued by the debt collector. In such matters, a lawyer can serve as an intermediary between disputing parties. Bankruptcy can help someone resolve their debts and get a new financial start, and a bankruptcy lawyer has the experience to help someone decide what action is the best for their circumstances.

Source: Federal Trade Commission, "Debt Collection", December 29, 2014

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