In today’s world, phone calls made by computers aren’t uncommon. Most of us get automated reminders about doctor’s visits, automated polls or calls from companies that are dialed automatically. It can be slightly annoying, but it’s a fact of life.
What is worse than slightly annoying, however, are automatic phone calls from debt collectors, also called robo-calls. In some cases, debt collectors will call repeatedly from a phone number that is blocked. They sometimes call every hour and refuse to stop. What can you do about those annoying or harassing calls?
First, if you answer, and an actual person comes on the line, tell them to stop calling you about the debt. That may work or it may not. If they continue to call you, keep a log of the phone calls, including a date, a time, and a phone number from which the call originated, if there is one. Keeping copies of your phone bill with the calls may also come in handy later.
Next, answer the calls and ask them to contact you only by mail in the future. Also, ask for the name and address of the collection company. Use that address to write a letter asking them (1) to stop contacting you via phone, and (2) to send you written validation of the debt, including written statements or a contract signed by you.
Finally, if they don’t stop calling, or don’t send you proof of the debt, contact a consumer rights attorney who has experience with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (the FDCPA). The attorney can help not only make the phone calls stop, but may also be able to help you receive compensation for any harassment you’ve suffered.