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If you’re dealing with debt, you may have just resigned yourself to the fact that incessant calls from debt collectors is normal. You may open the mailbox every day and just expect to find a heap of threatening collections letters. You might even think it’s okay for collectors to embarrass you by contacting your friends and family.

For many, it is the norm. In fact, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says that the most common complaint from consumers is that they’re being harassed by debt collectors. More than 50 percent of those complaints are from people who are being called about debts that aren’t theirs or debts that are incorrectly calculated.

Well here’s the good news: you don’t have to deal with any of those things. The  Fair Debt Collection Practices Act protects you from a range of underhanded tactics. It details what collection agencies can and can’t do to collect on debt.

So what can you do to stop the harassment? First, the collector must identify themselves and mail you written materials detailing the debt. So make sure you ask them questions like their street address and who the original creditor was. If they’re not legitimate, they will hang up when pressed. They must also stop contacting you if you tell them in writing to do so.

If you’re being harassed by a collection company and you want it to stop, you may want to speak with an attorney. He or she can deal with the creditors and may be able to help you get a fresh financial start.

Source: elpasoinc.com, “How to keep debt collectors honest,” January 23, 2017