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How to Avoid Debt Collection Scams

Dirty Trick #2: Calling Anytime -- and Everyone
Avoid debt collection scams
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Brian Stauffer

The phone rings incessantly at all hours, at home and at work, even though you've asked the collector not to contact you there. He's also harassing family members, friends, and even your boss and telling them you're a deadbeat. The law is clear: Collectors are allowed to call only between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m., and they must honor a written request to stop calling. They may not contact you again except to inform you that the creditor intends to take some action, such as filing a lawsuit. As for calling your parents or your employer, collectors may contact a third party to get your address and phone number, but are prohibited from discussing your debt. Write to the agency stating that you will file a complaint with your state attorney general if it doesn't stop immediately. For more information, call the National Consumer Law Center at 617-542-8010 to ask for the free brochure "What You Should Know About Debt Collection," or visit and click on the For Consumers link.