Debt Collectors Harassment

Updated on April 25, 2012
S.H. asks from Harvest, AL
9 answers

Are there any laws about how a debt collector can speak to you when they call??

My husband just got a call from one, and this lady was telling him things like "it must be hard to be a real father", "your daughter must be missing out on so much", and "based on your amount of debt, I'd have left you 5 years ago" !!!

How incredibly rude & uncalled for!! My husband shut her up with his own words... she then just said to have a good day, call when he can make a payment, and then hung up...

Can they legally talk to someone like that? Should he have asked to speak to a supervisor, or should we file a complaint somehow? I'm not sure if my husband would do anything, but I'm wondering just in case it's me they're talking to next time!

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Thanks for the responses! We are hopefully going to be taking care of all of our debts while my husband is overseas in a few months. Actually I guess I should say *I* am going to be taking care of them haha That's why I wanted to be prepared for when I have to talk to these people over the phone!

Loved your responses Megan C.! :)

Featured Answers



answers from Washington DC on

Unless he gets it on tape, there are really no avenues for him to persue unless he goes after slander, then he has to prove that someone he knows, not you, overheard the comments and that the comments damaged his reputation, with said person.

He should come up with some polite tell-offs.
- 'since you understand the situation so well, you can understand why I'm behind. Have a good day'.

- 'its because I am a real father that I'm in debt'.

- 'well then its a good thing I married my wife and not you'.

5 moms found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Phoenix on

The way we do it.....we don't answer the phone. Worked so far.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Since I have been a collector. There are several things we can and cannot say. Fair Debt Collection Act states what can be done. You can file a "complaint" and depending on the little company that is trying to collect. The complaint will go unnoticed. When they call you just tell them. I'm in the process of reallocting my budget and I will make sure you are in the line up. And then hang up. Depending on the debt, depends on the seriousness. Collectors love to harass because they have you at a vulnerable stage. No one likes to be in debt but it happens and if you works with them they will work with you. Or at least I did, I was one of the good ones and actually became friends with some. Weird huh?!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

Late reply but needed:

As a prior licensed bill collector:
I collected all i called on being nice and helping debtors out...
It is far better to call your creditor and explain your scenario and what you can pay, etc....
- KEEP NOTES! (date, time, who, company, convo)
- Keep proof of payment with last statement showing o balance forever!
- Hope this all helps...
- Fair Debt Collection Laws:
Tweak the letter how you want and need it to be... Send it certified! I have never been bugged after this was sent out! Keep a copy for you...

~ ~ ~
Your Name:
Your Address:

Ref/Acct #:_______________________

Dear Sir / Madam:

This will serve as your legal notice pursuant to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. section 805, to cease and desist all further communication with me in regard to the above referenced debt or debts. You are hereby instructed to cease collection efforts immediately or face legal sanctions under applicable Federal and State law.
- Fair Debt Collection Laws:

... I am providing notice that i will file a formal complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (which is responsible for the enforcement of the FDCPA) and the Attorney General of my state if the collection agency does not comply with my letter...
... I am providing notice that i intend to file suit against the collection agency if any negative information is placed on my credit reports....
... I am providing notice that i intend to keep a log of any contacts the collection agency makes after they receive this letter...
... My employers, be it past or future, prohibits calls from collection agencies, i demand that the collection agency not contact me at my place of employments...

... I further demand collection agencies not contact my relatives, friends or neighbors for any reason...

Special Notice:
1. The itemized list of charges need to be sent to me explaining where the balance and charges originated from…
2. This account will not be activated til I deem it worthy of paying a penny to the original creditor…. (Unless account has been “SOLD”)
3. Any and all information on me is “PRIVATE”…


First Name... Last Name

Added Notes:

* Should put - All correspondence will be in writing "only" from this day forward!



answers from Cincinnati on

debt collectors can be horriably rude. I once had one call me on the phone and start screaming at me out of no where! he asked if I had any major credit cards, I said one, he asked if I had a car, I said no. He said then I have only one other debt to pay on so why wasnt I making payments tothem (he said this screaming) I explained to him that I did have other credit cards just not major ones, they were store cards. I also had a phone bill and other debts and was only working 15 hrs a week for minimun wage. he acted like I had all this money and I just didnt want to give them any! If I were you I would get caller ID and avoid these calls



answers from Boise on

You should be able to do an online search to find the collection laws in your state. I have worked with collectors before (providing the software to make collections), and there are the good ones and the bad ones. They are not allowed to harass you. Was it the company that you were dealing with or a collection agency? Either way, I would call the company/agency and file a complaint. They need to know what their agents are doing and teach them how to better handle people.



answers from New York on

You should check with your state attorney general's office. They should be able to tell you (or direct your where to find out) what the collector's are / are not allowed to do during thier calls, as well how to report them if they cross the line.



answers from Little Rock on

Yes, I would file a complaint. It sounds like she was trying to put him on a guilt trip. Her call would have done that anyway without the uncalled comments. If you don't have the money, you just don't have it. I would suggest trying to get on a payment plan of some sort and send in a small amount monthly toward the debt. I had collections calling me when we had a dept with the childrens hospital due to my son being admitted with pneumonia. I told them right up front, I am currently making large payments to my OBGYN and have deadline. I will begin paying you the same amount I am paying the OBGYN in payments once I have that debt paid off. I gave them a date for when I would start making payments and asked them to put a note on record to keep them from harassing me. They were OK with that and I did follow through. If you have other debts besides this one, I would suggest that you start with your smallest debt and work to your largest debt and leave the mortgage till last. I would also suggest that you try not to incur any more debt. I know that may seem hard in this economy but pinch your pennies as hard as you can. And yes, file a complaint. That was uncalled for.



answers from Chicago on

If it had been me, I would have asked to speak to a supervisor right away and also made sure to write down whatever phone number she was calling from.

It's awful that she was so rude and personal and she had no right! However- it would be VERY hard to prove to anyone what happened, unless your husband had been able to get a supervisor on the phone right then and there.

Even then, it would most likely have been his word against hers unless the call was being recorded and they could access it right away, which is unlikely. I doubt she would have been so rude if she had thought she might get caught at it, or that something might happen. If he asked for a supervisor, she might have just hung up anyway.

Most people work at call centers and it is almost impossible to get the same person again or trace who called you. At least- they may be able to do so, but I just really don't think they would bother, even if you complain now.

I think your husband will just have to know that she was in the wrong and hope he doesn't have to deal with someone so rude again.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions