Advice on Recourses if You Are Getting Harassed by Bill Collect

Can a bill collector call 3 and 4 times a day or on a Sunday or after a certain time in a day?

My ex-husband's oldest son bought a Jeep about 7 months ago. He lost his job and couldn't make the payments so the Jeep was repossessed. The dealer where they got the Jeep sold the vehicle a couple of weeks after that and the dealership started calling wanting payment. His grandma cosigned for him to get this Jeep. The bill collector has his dad's phone number and has been calling 3 and 4 times a day. Today when the bill collector call he got very rude and started harassing my ex. My question is what can they do about this and is a bill collector supposed to call that many times a day or on a Sunday or after a certain time a day?

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Bill's Answer
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Bills.com Team
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By Bills.com Team
February 21, 2008

Once a vehicle is repossessed, the creditor will likely sell the car at auction. Once the vehicle is sold, you will be responsible for the current amount owed on your loan, less the money received at auction. This remaining debt is called a "deficiency balance." Once the creditor has sold the vehicle and determined the deficiency balance, it can begin collection efforts on the account like any other unsecured debt (since you would no longer have the car, the debt would be considered unsecured).

Bills.com's approved debt help partners may be able to help you, for a quick consultation, please click here: Debt Help Savings Quote.

You would likely receive calls from collection agencies attempting to collect on the account. In a worst case scenario, the creditor could sue you to obtain a judgment against you, which could result in bank levies, a lien on your property, and/or wage garnishment depending on the laws in your state.

Some states restrict a creditor's ability to collect on deficiency balances, so I encourage you to consult with an attorney licensed to practice law in your area to discuss the implications of vehicle repossession under your state law before you decide how to proceed.

There are definite rules and regulations regarding the handling of collection accounts by creditors and by the collection agencies themselves. The Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act guarantees you specific rights as a consumer when a personal debt has been turned over to a debt collector. These include:

•  The right to stop them from contacting you except to notify you of specific actions being taken by writing them a letter requesting this.

•  The right to receive a full written notice explaining the amount you owe, to whom you owe it, and what action you should take if you believe you do not owe the money.

•  The right to sue in state or federal court if you believe that the debt collector has violated the law in its handling of your account (within one year from the date that you believe the violation occurred).

• If you have had an ongoing problem with a collection agency, you should probably contact the agency one more time to request a specific, written statement of their proof that you still owe on the debt. Insist that they also include instructions for disputing their statement if you do not believe you still owe the money, as the law requires.

You might also consider reporting the collection agency to your state Attorney General's office and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Many states have their own debt collection laws in addition to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and your Attorney General's office can help you understand your specific rights. For more information about the FTC's Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Web page summarizing the law.

If you are struggling to pay your debts, you may want to consult with a professional debt resolution firm to discuss the options available to you. If you want a free debt consultation with one of Bill's approved debt help partners, please click here: Debt Help Savings Quote.

I hope the information provided helps you Find. Learn. Save!

Best,

Bill

www.bills.com

10 Comments

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  • 35x35
    Oct, 2009
    Bill
    As you mention Equated Monthly Installments (EMIs) and also judging by your email address, I infer your question relates to a loan in India. My expertise is limited to personal finance products provided in the United States, but know enough about the issues here to offer a reasonable response.

    It appears a gap in communication developed between you and the collection company. You should have followed up on your letter and made sure that they would not present your last check again. Under India law, it is your prerogative and responsibility to make the payments on time, so instead of telling the collection company to collect payments from your residence, you should have visited the nearest office and corrected the matter yourself. I suggest you go to the payments office of your loan provider and give them the correct payment information so that you do not incur additional penalties and fees.

    Under the circumstances you shared here, I doubt that the consumer forum, which is somewhat analogous to small-claims court in the US, will be sympathetic to your argument for relief.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Oct, 2009
    Yasmin
    I m being harrassed by loan collector. I had paid all my EMIs in proper time. But had hold the last EMI. This was because, I had instructed them in writing not to deposit the cheques in the bank as it was a salary account and my company had shut down. I had also instructed them to come and collect the cash from my residence. In spite of doing so every month I use to get the call from them saying my cheque was bounce and every month I use to tell them not to deposit the cheque. I had told them that I would pay my last EMI deducting the cheque bounce charges which was deducted from my bank. Now after several months again they started calling and harrassing me that my last installment is pending alongwith penalty charges, which has been increased. What should i do. Can I seek the help of consumer forum?? Because I m just not going to pay the additional amount.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2009
    Bill
    You should contact a local attorney and see if they can help you out.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2009
    myra
    thanks for your response. just wanted to let you know that they do come to my house. i have a loan company that comes to my house twice a week to see if i have a payment for them yet. i have asked them not to bother me at home but they continue to do so.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2009
    Mark
    Going door-to-door is not prohibited under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, as I read the law. (If readers can point out where I overlooked such a provision in the act please reply here.) However, I can't imagine a more expensive and antediluvian means of collecting a debt than sending someone to your home in hopes you happen to answer the door. Regardless, if the creditor sends a goon to collect, the FDCPA prohibits threats of violence when collecting a debt, and gives consumers the power to refuse to speak to creditors once the consumer tells the creditor to cease contact. Unless the collection agent happens to work in your neighborhood, I think the chances of seeing a collector at your door are about the same as winning the lottery.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jul, 2009
    myra
    Can a bill collector come to your home?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    May, 2009
    Bill
    If they have already sued you and won a judgment against you, then the statute of limitations does not apply as they can pursue the judgment till they collect the entire amount that that court has awarded them.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    May, 2009
    janet
    What is the statute of limitations on a collection agency wanting to collect a debt after they heve sued you? Is it 5 years or more?
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2009
    Bill
    If you not going to pay them, you basically have three options: 1. send them a cease and desist letter and hope that they dissapear and then that the statute of limitations expires; 2. file bankruptcy (chapter 7) 3. get sued by them, they win a judgmement against you and then they try to apply the judgment with a levy, lien or garnish your wages. I'd recommend talking to a local attorney if you do go this route... but I hope this helps you think about options. Good luck Scott!
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Jan, 2009
    scott
    i have been getting calls at my work from a bill collector and have no plans to pay them, what are my options. thank you.
    0 Votes