Dealing with Debt Collectors

The phone rings, you look at whose calling, and you don’t recognize the phone number.  Damn, it is one of those persistent debt collectors. But I don’t have any current debts! Your first response may be to pick up the phone and tell them to F off! Right? But there is a better way….

The first thing most people don’t realize is that all states have a statue of limitations on personal debt. For instance, assume you have credit card debt and you live in California. California has a three year statue of limitations on credit card debt. That means that legally debt collectors have three years to collect on that debt, then it becomes null and void. That doesn’t mean they won’t report the debt on your credit rating, it just means that you don’t have to respond to the debt or any court order for that debt. So how do you handle that persistent debt collector?

You can insist that they don’t contact you anymore. Legally, they are supposed to adhere to that guideline, but we know there are scum collectors that don’t. If they continue to bother you by phone, you can do a number of things to prevent them from calling you. Most phone companies have a call blocking service. All you have to do is punch in the collectors phone number, and they can’t get through to you anymore. Every time they try to call, they get bounced out. Your phone won’t even ring! We are talking about the land line phone companies like Embarq for example.

If you are being besieged with a number of collectors, you could try the above or you can change your phone number if it is really bad. Make sure when you get your new phone number you make it an unlisted number. Only give your phone number out to trusted family members or friends. Be careful when you are doing any sort of business that asks you for a phone number, because these debt collectors have a way to get your new number, even if it is unlisted! So if you are applying for something or other make sure the company you are dealing with doesn’t give out your new phone number, or you will get hounded again.

If you have a land line and a cell phone, you can always disconnect your land line and just keep your cell phone. That is the end of the harassment from the collectors on your land line, but hopefully you haven’t given out your cell phone number to them. If you have, then change your cell phone number.

As far as them reaching you by mail, you can always ask the post office to put a cease and desist on the address from the particular company that is harassing you. This works pretty good, as the post office is quite efficient in dealing with unwanted mail. There have been people that have sent a bill collectors mail back with the printed words “Deceased” on the return. That has worked as well.

These are a few creative ways in dealing with these pond scum that won’t take no for an answer. You are legally entitled to ask them to cease and desist, but make sure you check with your state as far as the statue of limitations. Each state has different time requirements, but it’s certainly worth it as you need to know where you stand and it’s a lot more fun bouncing them out of your universe into oblivion..