Creditor harassment occurs when a debt collector does something illegal to collect a debt. Federal law makes certain types of conduct illegal. Additionally, Indiana state law also makes it illegal to harass, annoy, or make threats against a debtor. Creditors can only threaten action that is within their ability to carry out. So, if a creditor is doing something illegal, how do I stop them?
Can I Record a Phone Call Between Myself and a Creditor?
Yes. But if you want the recording to be usable in court, then you must inform the other party that they are being recorded. So, if you want to engage with a debt collector but want to ensure that the debt collector plays by the rules, then you must first inform them that they are being recorded. Generally, if a debt collector is harassing you, they will take a more even tone when they are being recorded. However, some debt collectors double down on the harassment anyway or are totally tied up in knots about being recorded and no longer have a clue what to say.
Indiana has a one-party consent rule, which means that you can record a conversation without the other party’s consent. However, you should inform the other party they are being recorded to avoid tripping over other states that require both parties to consent.
Setting Them Up
The first thing you have to do is put them on notice that you no longer want to receive their phone calls. This requires you to send a certified letter to the creditor requesting that they cease communications. You can find sample letters all over the internet. Once the letter has been received, they can no longer communicate with you to recover the debt. However, if the debt is valid, they can file suit against you. So, you will need a plan of action to deal with the debt itself.
Knocking Them Down
Once the letter has been received, it is considered harassment and illegal to attempt to contact you again. While the debt remains in place, and the debt collector can file a lawsuit, a lot of debt collection agencies don’t have attorneys on staff and hope that mere pressure will force the debtor into repaying the debt. If their only means of recovering the debt is continuing to place pressure on you, they may in fact violate the law to ensure that pressure.
Paying Your Debt
One other way to get creditors off your back is by paying off the debt you owe. A debt that you should pay off will be a recent debt (within the past few years) and that you have full memory of owing. In many cases, this will be the simplest and easiest method to get creditors off your back. In many cases, the creditor will be willing to negotiate a lower payment. So, if it is within your means to pay the debt, then, by all means, you should pay it. If not, then the advice of an Indiana bankruptcy attorney can help get you back on your feet.
Indiana Bankruptcy Lawyer
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