Collection agencies can make your life miserable. They may call your house and place of business or send threatening letters. Collections agencies acquire debts from original creditors. But rather than suffer through constant harassment from a collection agency, you can take several steps to deal with these agencies and stop relentless telephone calls. Collection agencies must adhere to certain laws, and debtors have certain rights. Knowing your rights can help you deal with collection agencies and quickly stop abuse.
Acknowledge the debt and submit full payment. Instead of dodging collection accounts and telephone calls, admit to owing the debt and then send a payment to pay off the balance and stop collection attempts.
Agree to installment payments. If you owe a large debt and can't pay off the balance with a single payment, negotiate with collection agencies and propose sending installment payments for a specific number of months.
Ask to settle the debt. Debt settlements can cause further credit damage because you didn't fully satisfy a debt obligation. But if you can't pay a huge balance, the agency may agree to accept less than the balance owed -- something is better than nothing, especially if you're contemplating bankruptcy. Get settlement agreements in writing before mailing your payment.
Request debt validation. This method involves the collection agency providing written proof that you owe a specific debt. They must supply this information upon request from debtors or cease collection attempts.
Deal with harassment and stop non-stop calls. Collection agencies must stop telephoning your home or work upon written request. Keep a copy of the letter and send the original through certified mail.
File bankruptcy to stop harassment. Bankruptcy laws prevent creditors and collection agencies from pursuing debt collection or lawsuits once a debtor files bankruptcy.
Research the statue of limitations for your state. Before agreeing to pay a collection account, consult a lawyer for information on the statue of limitation for your state, which prevents agencies from pursuing debt collection in court past a certain number of years. The statue of limitation for each type of debt varies for each state.