Getting a call or a letter from a debt collection agency can be intimidating for anyone but it can be especially stressful if you’re a senior citizen.
When dealing with debt collectors, it’s important to be aware of the strict guidelines they need to adhere to.
This will help you stay in control of the situation as well as keep the debt collector in check.
What is a Debt Collector and What Can He or She Do?
A debt collector is an individual that will contact you on behalf of your original creditor in order to collect the debt from you.
A debt collector may be working independently or they may be working for a debt collection agency.
You may be hearing from a debt collector due to one of two reasons:
- Your original creditor has hired them in order to collect the money you owe to them.
- Your original creditor has sold your debt to the debt collection agency.
In the former case, the debt collector is merely collecting the money you owe in order to deliver it to your original creditor.
In the latter case, your original creditor is not involved in the process at all. The debt collection agency is now the legal owner of your debt and they will be collecting the money from you for themselves.
While debt collectors may seem frightening, it’s important to keep in mind that they do not have any extra-legal powers. They cannot force entry into your home or seize your possessions in order to pay for your debt.
The most they can do is contact you and inquire about how you plan to pay off your debt.
What are My Rights as a Senior Citizen when a Debt Collector Contacts Me?
When dealing with senior citizens, debt collectors are obligated to abide by a certain set of guidelines.
For example, they cannot call you repeatedly in a single day to inquire about your debt. They also cannot call you at irregular hours during the weekdays and not at all during the weekends.
Debt collectors are also required not to abuse or threaten debtors in any way. If you feel that a debt collector is behaving with you in a way that is troubling or inducing stress, you can report them to the relevant authoritative body.
Debt collection agencies such as Resolvecall have a very bad reputation when it comes to dealing with debtors that are senior citizens. There have been reports of debt collectors threatening senior citizens that if they don’t pay, they will take their pensions.
Please know that not only is this not true in most cases, it’s also in direct violation of regulations that debt collectors need to adhere to.
I Feel My Rights have been Violated, What Should I Do?
If you feel that a debt collector has stepped over the line, you can ask them to leave if they are on your property or you can simply end the conversation and hang up the phone if you’re on a call with them.
Please note that if you would prefer to not be called, you can request the debt collection agency to only contact you through mail.
The first thing you should do when you feel a debt collector has breached guidelines is to contact your original creditor. Request them to talk to the debt collector and request them to keep their behavior in check.
If this does not solve the issue, you can opt to contact a consumer law attorney who can help you figure out your next step.
Debt collectors are notorious for using questionable tactics on people they think are vulnerable in order to get them to pay.
In situations like these, it’s essential that you are aware of your rights. When you know what a debt collector can and can’t do, dealing with them becomes a lot less stressful.