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Debt collectors don't always play by the rules

South Carolina residents were some of the roughly 70 million Americans who were contacted by a creditor or debt collector within the past 12 months. That was according to a study released by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Of those who were contacted, 40 percent asked that the creditor or debt collector cease contact. In 75 percent of those cases, that did not happen.

Medical and credit card debts are among the most common that people are contacted about. Of those who were contacted, about 25 percent said that they felt threatened or harassed during the interaction. This is despite the fact that debt collectors are generally barred from using abusive or threatening language when dealing with a consumer. Some consumers also mentioned that they had been contacted at inconvenient hours, which is another tactic that debt collectors are supposed to refrain from doing.

Unless a consumer specifically says otherwise, phone calls are only supposed to occur between the hours of 8 a.m and 9 p.m. Almost 40 percent of those who responded to the survey said that they had been contacted by a creditor at least four times in a week. Another 17 percent said that they have been contacted by a debt collector as many as eight or more times in a single week.

Individuals who are facing financial challenges may wish to talk to an attorney. An attorney may be able to talk about the benefits of filing for bankruptcy such as the possibility of having some unsecured debts discharged. Legal counsel can also outline the various eligibility and other requirements.

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The Huggins Law Firm, PA

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