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How To Get Debt Collectors Off Your Back Permanently

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This entry was posted on 5/6/2006 6:01 PM and is filed under Finance.

Debt collectors are liars, cheaters, etc... They take advantage of every loophole possible and even break the law. They have been featured on almost every news program from CNN to 60 Minutes. There are laws in place to contain their harassment and collection efforts and to make this process more civil, but most figure the risk of getting caught is minimal and that the rewards of endlessly harassing and fleecing victims is far greater. We now have the power to take back our lives, stop them in their tracks and sue them for more than they are trying to collect.

First, lets start with what is actually owed and how most collection agencies work. Usually a unpaid debt is either sold or turned over to a collection agency. 95% or more of these debts are credit cards, store cards, gas cards, etc... These debts are then tiered according to age of debt, amount, credit, job history, etc... Generally most debts are bought for pennies on the dollar. Recent debt may go for $.15 to $.25 on the dollar whereas old debt that has had numerous collection attempts goes for $.05 or less and debt that is beyond the statues of limitations for the state the debtor resides in goes for less than $.01. So, for instance if you owed $10000.00 on a credit card, the debt collection agency paid at most $2500.00, but probably paid less than $1500 for it. Now, what's interesting is that they will call and write you stating that you now owe $14000.00 or so stating that it has accrued interest and various questionable fees. This is all profit if you were dumb enough to pay that. A fair settlement would be $1700.00 or less. So, the point here is that you don't ever owe what they are trying to collect from you - it is always far, far less.

Secondly, lets give you some more ammunition - The 1977 FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act) gives you rights the debt collectors won't tell you about. If you don't want to hear from them again, its easy. Just write them a letter stating that you wish they cease all contact with you (make sure you put in the letter that - P.S. This letter is in no way an acknowledgement of the above listed debt(s) - that way they cannot even attempt to try and re-age your debt (add another 7years of collection and reporting to further harass). Send the letter registered return receipt requested mail and keep your proof of receipt. If they contact you after this for any reason other than to tell you they are either dropping the issue or taking it to court (99.99% won't go to court as it costs them more money and their odds of getting anything are almost zero - even with a judgement) then you can sue them for each occurrence for $1,000. People win these suits every day - most settle out of court for a lot more than the original debt (just look this up on the internet under small claims court). You also have the right to question the debt and have the debt collector provide proof. Many debt collection agencies are being sued by many debtors for their failure to provide proof. Just look up Asset Acceptance on the internet - they are one of the biggest abusers of this federal law with thousands of outstanding lawsuits for harassing debt collection practices.

So, now you know how to stop debt collection agencies in their tracks. You know how to get relief - sue them! If enough people sue them things will change. Also use your state and local resources. State Attorney generals go after debt collection agencies that routinely break the law, Consumer protection agencies (the Better Business Bureau, etc...), the Federal Trade Commission goes after the worst abusers, and, of course, your state department of insurance and finance (whom actually licenses these agencies rto operate in your state). You state department of finance and insurance, or similar, has the power to fine, punish and even banish the debt collection agency from your state. Every state requires a debt collection agency to be licensed and put up a large financial bond (around $50,000) to operate in your state. Call these folks if you are having problems with a debt collection agency - they will get immediate results in your favor. Don't threaten the collection agency that you have these rights - use them. Bring the collection agency to its knees if they are violating your rights.

The other problem is are these bills, debts even correct? Many hospitals, doctors, etc... have no ethics and will purposely double or even triple bill patients without insurance because they know they can get away with it. If you have a question about your bill demand a itemized bill and have this professionally examined. This will reveal things like overcharging ($100 tissue boxes, 1000 percent markup on medicines, etc...) We entrust these hospitals and doctors with our lives and then they screw us by double billing or worse. Right now there is no government policing on hospitals. Many times a debt collector will actually make up a debt or illegally pass one on to you from someone else (Asset Acceptance has been sued for this many times). Do not assume that you owe any debt and take them to task. If you do owe it, pay it, but pay the least amount possible, and pay it on your terms. If they break the law - make them pay!

If you have a problem with a bill make it known to your state politicians. If enough people do this things will change. Write to your local newspaper, tell a friend, do a press release. Tell others of their rights. Cigarette boxes come with warnings - shouldn't debt collectors and debt collection agencies with their high propensity to skirt the law also come with mandatory warnings? The more the word gets out, the better the odds something will be done about it.

David Maillie is a chemist with over 12 years experience in biochemical research and clynical analysis. He is an alumni of Cornell University and specializes in biochemical synthesis for public, private, and governmental interests. He holds numerous patents and specializes in products that save the consumer money. He can be reached at M.D. Wholesale: or by visiting

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    • 5/6/2006 7:33 PM Mac wrote:
      I hear you telling people to pay the least ammount possible. I do understand that once in a while you may be over charged. But the largest ammount of debtors out there are just lazy and think, because of people like you by the way, that they don't have to pay what they owe. I'll give you the solution right now. DON'T BUY ANYTHING YOU CAN'T (EXPLETIVE!!!!) AFFORD. It sickens me to hear that you think for some reason you are entitled to not pay for what you use. A very very small percentage of people are abused by the system and they deserve all the help they can get. The much larger portion are people who think they deserve what they purchased even though they can't afford it. Do credit card companies over charge on interest? Of course they do. Did you know that before you charged away thousands of dollars? Of course you did. Don't blame your own laziness on someone else. Are debt collectors soooooo scary on the phone that poor little you is afraid to talk to them? I'll ask one question. If you loaned $100 to your friend you would hope they paid it back, right? You might even be a little angry if they didn't right? If you can't handle credit then spend only cash. Don't blame someone else for your irresposiblity.
      Reply to this
    • 5/15/2006 3:21 PM Robert Aitchison wrote:
      Agreed with Mac, if you borrowed the money, pay it back according to the terms you agreed uponand you will never ever have to deal with debt collectors.
      Reply to this
    • 6/5/2006 2:33 AM jejg wrote:
      Just happened to see this as new looker...debt is no laughing matter. Why we have believed we can keep doing things like charge and not know the consequence is beyond my understanding. BUT Guilty as charged!!
      No more.. Learned that if you can't pay for it (whatever IT is) beyond food shelter clothes with out it. There are too many reasons to "not keep up" with someone else's idea of necessity, like getting in over drowning..then trying to find a way to make the financial problem go away.
      Our family now lives debt-free, with a budget, and it has made life so much better. There is actually some savings (which never happened in 27 years of marriage) and even money that can be spent for FUN, or Giving or any way chosen. We found out about a new way to think on finance from a radio program quite by accident. Short story: - The day of 9-11-01 when trying to find any news about what had happened that day a "talk" radio program with DAVE RAMSEY
      was part of the regular schedule. After several days of TALK radio with his show in the sandwich mix, the program really made a profound effect on me. This guy I had never heard of talked about money and finance. He talked about the USA and how every thing changed for so many. He also talked about reasons to be financially sound and of people being DEBT-FREE. I had never heard of such...everyone is in debt ??right?? He had $$millions, been bankrupt, and had come through it with lots of lessons. Debt?
      Not any more. Just thought some one else might find his site and program of benefit as we did. After 21 months and paying off $ 28,000. of debt--(maybe small to some, but at $48,000 yr income with 2 working hard it was a lot to us) ..while saving at the same time; and 2 newly adult kids in college, and paying cash for a wedding, we became DEBT-FREE and life is better and stress is less, far less on our marriage. Knowing if today I didn't or couldn't go to work that no bill collectors will call, no scarey trips to the mail-box, no worry if I will see the electric meter pulled-all which has been so in the not too distant past, I am grateful for this happened upon information. jejg
      Reply to this
    • 6/29/2006 8:28 PM Jeromie wrote:
      I just started work for a collections law firm. I've been going through a confusing training program. After 4 days, I'm starting to learn things...1. The FDCPA started in 1978, so right off the bat I don't belive much of the initial post. 2.The firm I work for seems to be very professional, and when I posted in a web forum, that I was starting work there, my first response was...."they are a bunch of money grubbing bastards." So you can see how I went in a little more skeptical than when I initially started.3. Most people try and "pay the initial creditor". That I think is an old myth..If one waits too long to pay it, you get no breaks. people don't pay their bills, and want breaks, and they want to blame it on the collectors..."but I thought I paid that", and they have no proof. As a former debtor, I'm mortified, by some of the statements people make...because I've been there myself. People can lie all they want about their debt problems, when debt collectors call, it's right in their face. Saying you don't want to be contacted , does not stop collection efforts or restore a credit rating, paying your bills does. If the account is big enough, the firm will sue. Then it's real...I think it's a shame that shows like that, and crooked collectors ruin it for the legit ones. That's why the FDCPA was enacted, it's still growing, it's a shame that the crooked consumers actually want so many rights. On the other hand, I've been harrased in the past, and I didn't even know I had rights. Knowledge is power, so is information..thanks for letting me share
      Reply to this
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