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Harassment from debt collectors is very common

Kentucky residents who receive unwanted calls from debt collectors have the right to tell the debt collectors to stop calling them. If a debt collector keeps calling a person after he or she has sent an official request to stop communications, the debt collector is in violation of consumer protection laws. Debt collectors are also barred from phoning consumers between the hours of 9 p.m. and 8 a.m., and they are not allowed to use abusive tactics to collect debts.

On Jan. 12, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a report showing evidence that debt collectors commonly engage in illegal debt collection tactics. According to a survey referenced in the report, around 75 percent of consumers who asked debt collectors to stop calling them continued to receive phone calls. A third of the people who were surveyed said that debt collectors had contacted them between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m.

Debt collection is a $13.7 billion industry that is the source of more complaints to the CFPB than any other topic. Many of the debt collection calls that consumers receive are for debts that are not their own, have already been paid off or have been miscalculated. The CFPB says that about a third of consumers in the U.S. have received communications from a debt collector within the past year.

For many consumers with debt, filing for bankruptcy is the best way to get debt collection calls to stop. The automatic stay that goes into effect when a person files for bankruptcy can also stop a foreclosure process from going forward and prevent utility companies from shutting off things like heat, water and electricity. A lawyer may be able to advise an individual about his or her debt situation and determine whether filing for bankruptcy is the best option.

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