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What can you do when debt collectors harass you after settlement?

When you settle a debt, you expect the phone calls and letters from debt collectors to stop. Unfortunately, some collectors might continue to harass you.

There are several steps you can take if you find yourself in this frustrating situation.

Understand your rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act protects consumers from abusive and deceptive practices by debt collectors. This act limits what debt collectors can do when attempting to collect certain types of debt and gives you the right to demand that a debt collector stop contacting you. Understanding your rights is the first step in stopping harassment.

Keep detailed records of all communications

Start by keeping a detailed log of all interactions with the debt collector. Note the date, time and content of each call or letter. This documentation can help if you decide to take legal action or file a complaint against the collector.

Send a cease and desist letter

Write a cease and desist letter to the debt collector. This letter should clearly state that the debt has been settled and that you demand they stop contacting you. Include details of the settlement, such as the date and amount. Send this letter via certified mail to ensure you have a record of its receipt.

File a complaint

If the harassment does not stop, consider filing a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or the Maryland Attorney General’s office. These agencies can investigate your complaint and may take action on your behalf.

Consult a consumer rights attorney

Sometimes, you might need to consult a consumer rights attorney. They can help you take further legal action if necessary, which can include suing the debt collector for violations of the FDCPA. You may be entitled to compensation for the harassment you have endured.

Consider additional steps to protect your peace

Aside from taking legal action, consider other steps to protect your peace of mind. You can change your phone number or use a service that blocks unwanted calls and texts. Taking these measures can provide immediate relief from the stress of repeated unwanted contact.

If debt collectors continue harassing you after you settle a debt, remember that you have rights and options. By taking these steps, you can assert your rights and restore your peace of mind.