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Collection Harassment

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Mark Cappel
UpdatedDec 7, 2022
GMAC keeps calling me at work, despite my telling them not to. How do I stop this harassment?

I am leasing a car from GMAC. I have had struggles with paying my bills, and each month my payment has been late. I have changed jobs since originally leasing my car, and my problem is that somehow GMAC has obtained the number to where I work and they call the receptionist at my job and the receptionist has to transfer GMAC to my direct line. I have told GMAC multiple times not to call my job, because I work in the field and don't always get messages from this phone on a timely basis. I have always directed them to call my personal cell phone number, which is the number that I put on the contract that I signed. I have told them that they are harassing me, my payments have not even been 30 days late but they continue to call and harass me. Is there some governmental institution that I can report them to, that will get them to stop calling my job and to call my cell phone as originally authorized?

You have two issues: Handling the harassing calls and correcting the late payments.

Collection harassment calls

Previously, I discussed what a consumer can do when a creditor uses harassing behavior (see Advice If You’re Being Harassed by Collection Agent). Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) creditors are not permitted to call you at work if you ask them to stop.

You stated you asked GMAC to call your cell phone and cease calling your work telephone number. You are not avoiding their calls. Since GMAC has not adhered to your verbal requests, send GMAC a return-receipt letter stating that your job is at risk because of their calls. Reiterate your willingness to have them call your cell phone or write you. If, after your letter has been received, and they continue to call your employer, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the federal agency responsible for enforcing the FDCPA.

Delinquent payments

Though you do not mention what will happen to your credit score if you continue to make payments late, I want to give you some information on that subject. Below are links to resources you may wish to review to see what happens to your credit score if your payments are late or delinquent, what will happen in you allow a repossession, and what you can do to resolve any resulting debt.

Recommendation

Write a letter to GMAC regarding the collection harassment as soon as possible. Also, call GMAC and reiterate that their calls are causing issues at work and you could lose your employment which, in turn, could result in no income to pay for the loan. I would also see if you can have GMAC change the date the payment is owed so that you will not be late in making future payments.

I hope this information helps you Find. Learn & Save.

Best,

Bill

Bills.com

Struggling with debt?

Debt is used to buy a home, pay for bills, buy a car, or pay for a college education. According to the NY Federal Reserve total household debt as of Q2 2022 was $16.15 trillion. Auto loan debt was $1.50 trillion and credit card was $0.89 trillion.

According to data gathered by Urban.org from a sample of credit reports, about 26% of people in the US have some kind of debt in collections. The median debt in collections is $1.739. Student loans and auto loans are common types of debt. Of people holding student debt, approximately 10% had student loans in collections. The national Auto/Retail debt delinquency rate was 4%.

The amount of debt and debt in collections vary by state. For example, in Delaware, 29% have any kind of debt in collections and the median debt in collections is $1692. Medical debt is common and 16% have that in collections. The median medical debt in collections is $706.

Avoiding collections isn’t always possible. A sudden loss of employment, death in the family, or sickness can lead to financial hardship. Fortunately, there are many ways to deal with debt including an aggressive payment plan, debt consolidation loan, or a negotiated settlement.

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