The Law About Debt Collections Harassment

Know your rights and how to put a debt collections company in its place.
Laura Adams, MBA
5-minute read
Episode #314

s will prevent new credit accounts from being approved in your name without your consent. Then contact the creditor or collections agency and explain the situation.

Debt Collection and Lawsuits

When you begin communicating with a debt collector keep good records, like the date, time, notes of the conversation and anything you believe may be considered illegal harassment. This documentation will help you if you can’t resolve a dispute or end up going to court.

If a collector sues you, don’t ignore them—even if you know it’s a mistake. You must respond personally or through an attorney, by the date on the lawsuit paperwork in order to preserve your rights.

Likewise, if you’ve been harassed by a debt collector, you can sue them in state or federal court within one year. If you win the case, the collector may have to pay you for damages and court costs.

Even if you don’t sue a collector, be sure to report any illegal harassment to the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov and to your state Attorney General’s office at naag.org. That’s the best way to put a collector who’s breaking the law in their place.

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About the Author

Laura Adams, MBA

Laura Adams received an MBA from the University of Florida. She's an award-winning personal finance author, speaker, and consumer advocate who is a frequent, trusted source for the national media. Money-Smart Solopreneur: A Personal Finance System for Freelancers, Entrepreneurs, and Side-Hustlers is her newest title. Laura's previous book, Debt-Free Blueprint: How to Get Out of Debt and Build a Financial Life You Love, was an Amazon #1 New Release. Do you have a money question? Call the Money Girl listener line at 302-364-0308. Your question could be featured on the show.