Usually, a debt recovery agent will try to get in touch with you if you fail to pay a loan installment on the due date. However, even if you are paying regular installments, a recovery agent may make calls that border on harassment.
So if you think that you are being harassed by Midland Credit Management debt calls, you probably need some legal advice. There are laws to protect the debtor against unnecessary harassment by loan recovery agents.
However, most people are unaware of their basic rights as debtors. Hence, in this blog post, you can learn about some useful rights that you can use against a debt collection agent’s harassment.
What To Do When A Debt Collection Call Harasses You?
When a debt recovery agent makes a call, you have several options that range from outright refusal to communicate to pressing charges for undue harassment. Some of the common situations that you may face with a debt recovery agent’s call are discussed in the following paragraphs.
1. At What Hours Is It Ok To Make A Call?
According to the legal norms in most countries, a debt collector cannot make a call beyond the usual business hours. So you should not receive any communication before eight in the morning and after nine at night.
Moreover, if a person from the debt recovery agency wants to speak to you when you are busy in a meeting, you can gently refuse to speak. It is absolutely alright to ask the agents to call at a more convenient time. If you are not allowed to take calls during work hours, you must inform the collection agents about such rules.
2. How Many Times In A Day Can You Be Contacted?
According to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a debt collector cannot talk to you more than seven times in seven days. Also, if you have spoken about one particular debt, then they cannot contact you about that particular debt before another week. So depending on the number of loans you have taken, a debt collection agency may call, at the most, seven times a week (considering you have seven outstanding loans).
3. How To Know If The Caller Is A Bonafide Recovery Agent Or A Scamster?
Numerous financial frauds have occurred where people have gathered financial information by posing as loan recovery agents. So you should never communicate with someone who does not prove beyond reasonable doubt that he is a bonafide collection agent.
The person who calls you is supposed to share details like their name and mailing address. Moreover, they must share the name of the creditor to whom you owe the money and also the installment amount that you must pay.
You should communicate further only once you have validated the credentials of the caller and you are sure that the person on the other end is not a scamster.
4. What To Do When You Do Not Think That You Owe The Money?
If a collection agent says you owe money due to a loan you do not remember taking, you must contest his claim. In such a case, you may send a dispute letter to get more details about the loan that is being ascribed to you.
5. What If The Collection Agents Contacts Your Employer Or Friends?
At times a collection agent may contact your employer or friends to seek more information about your whereabouts. However, it is legally not permissible for a collection agent to contact anyone apart from your spouse.
If you find out that your employer or friends have been contacted in connection with your loans, you can press charges.
Also, once you have communicated to the collection agency that you can only be contacted via your lawyer, you should not get any direct calls. The only situation when an agent may contact you directly is when your lawyer is inaccessible.
6. What If The Collection Agents Are Not Saying The Truth?
Any sort of misleading or falsification is not allowed when it comes to debt collection calls. Here are some of the grounds on which a loan recovery agent cannot lie
About their own identity. At times recovery agents pose as bank employees, lawyers etc., to gather as much information as possible about your financial status. They may want to figure out if you can pay or not. However, such covert calls are illegal; you can sue them for misleading you.
About the installment that you must pay. If the collection agent quotes an amount that is more than the installment that was agreed upon or if they claim any additional charges, you can send a dispute letter.
7. What If You Are Being Threatened And Abused?
Threatening or abusing a loanee is not allowed as per the law. So if a person from the collection agency uses obscene language or slag, you can press charges against them. In case you are being abused or threatened with the loss of life or limb, you must immediately contact your legal advisor.
It is important to remember that even the subtle threats of defamation by publishing your name or loan amount also violate fair practices. So you must remain vigilant at all times when you are communicating with loan recovery agents. And if you feel the need, you can always record the calls and send the recording over to your legal advisor.
Loan recovery agents apply several tactics to ensure that you follow due diligence when it comes to the payment of your installments. However, under no circumstances can criminal intimidation, misleading information or harassment be tolerated.
Practices like calling at odd hours or during work hours, using abusive language, and charging extra money are not legal.
Hence, if you have been facing problems like intimidation or harassment, you must first report to your attorney. If your attorney thinks fit, he can prepare a case against the collection agent, and you can fight for your rights in a court of law.