What can be done to stop debt collectors from contacting me?

An Arizona resident or anyone else dealing with debt collectors may have options to get the contact to stop. One option is to send a letter to the debt collector demanding that contact cease immediately. The debt collector may then only reply to say that no further contact is planned or that legal action may be forthcoming. While the contact may stop, it does not make a valid debt go away.

Debt collectors may be forced to temporarily stop contacting a debtor if he or she asks for verification of the debt. However, if confirmation of the debt is provided, the debt collector may resume contact unless told to stop. In any case, a debt collector is not allowed to harass a debtor or make any false statements or statements meant to intimidate a debtor.

There are limits as to when and how a debt collector may contact an individual. No contact may be made before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. unless permission to do so has already been granted. Furthermore, a debt collector may not contact a debtor at work unless permission has been given to do so. Others may not be contacted about the debt other than to confirm the address or other basic information about a debtor.

Anyone who is behind on their debts may wish to contact a bankruptcy attorney to discuss his or her options to get out of debt. An attorney may be able to explain how bankruptcy may cause certain debts such as credit card debt to be discharged. This means that a debtor is no longer obligated to make payments on that debt. Filing for bankruptcy may also entitle a debtor to an automatic stay of any planned legal action that a creditor or debt collector may wish to take.

Source: Federal Trade Commission, "Debt Collection", December 30, 2014

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