Debtors' Prison: Escape Collectors' Calls

3. If you are deep in debt, consider negotiating with the collectors who call. They may be willing to accept a smaller amount than you actually owe or waive late fees and fines.

4. If a collector is overly aggressive or abusive on the phone, alert him or her that you are aware of your rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Just the fact that you know the name of the law should shut them up!

How to complain:

If you believe a collection agent is harassing you or violating the law, you have the right to sue in a state or federal court within one year of the violation. If you simply want to file a complaint, contact your state attorney general and the Federal Trade Commission.

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