When you’re in debt, getting calls from debt collectors is common. But can debt collectors call on holidays? Although there are no regulations that specifically make calling on holidays illegal, there are regulations that prohibit debt collectors from contacting consumers at unusual or known inconvenient times.
Find out more about the answer to this common question, and learn what you can do to take care of your debt for good.
Can Debt Collectors Call on Holidays?
You probably don’t want a debt collector to call when you’re at home, spending a holiday with friends and family. The good news is there are protections in place to eliminate abusive and unfair debt collection practices.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) notes that a debt collector may not communicate with a consumer “at any unusual time or place or a time or place known or which should be known to be inconvenient to the consumer.” With this regulation in mind, early mornings and late nights are not acceptable times of day for debt collectors to call.
Can creditors call on holidays? Because many holidays are public knowledge, you can generally expect that debt collectors won’t call at these times. With that being said, it’s important to note that not all localities, states or countries acknowledge the same holidays.
Can bill collectors call on holidays? Technically, yes. But you can ask them to stop.
Can a Debt Collector Contact You at Any Time?
No, they cannot. They can contact you, but they need to follow the regulations outlined in the FDCPA. If bill collectors are calling at unreasonable times of the day or continually call you, it may be considered harassment. It’s recommended that you document every date and time that a creditor calls so you have a record to use in case you seek legal counsel to deal with creditor harassment.
Can You Tell a Debt Collector to Stop Calling?
Yes, you can. If you don’t want a debt collector to call on holidays or you’re getting calls at unreasonable hours, you can send a letter requesting that they stop. Creditors must cease contacting you by phone once you make the request, but that doesn’t mean you don’t still owe the debt. They can continue to take other actions to collect it.
What Happens if You Ignore Debt Collectors?
You might be thinking of ignoring calls from debt collectors but worry about the consequences. When you ignore these calls, in some cases, nothing will happen. The creditor might stop reaching out.
But that’s not always the case. You might face negative consequences for ignoring these calls.
If the debt is yours and you continue to ignore debt collections, you might face wage garnishment or a lawsuit. Your credit score and credit report can also take a hit. Though you shouldn’t have to take calls at unreasonable times or on holidays, if you owe a debt, you may want to work with the collection company and consider how you can pay it to avoid other negative consequences.
How Can I Keep Debt Collectors From Interfering With Holidays?
If you’re getting calls from bill collectors and are worried about the possibility of them calling on holidays, you might be wondering what steps you can take. Here are some suggestions.
Ask Them to Stop
Consumers have rights, which are outlined by the FDCPA. One of them is that a debt collector must stop contacting you after you send a letter requesting them to do so. You’ll still be responsible for any debt you owe, but they must follow your request and stop reaching out.
This needs to be done in writing, not by phone. Consider keeping a copy of the letter that you send for your records. You may also want to send the letter by certified mail so you know when the debt collector received it.
Work Out a Payment Plan
If you want to lessen your financial stress and don’t want the collector to take further action, consider negotiating a repayment plan with your creditor. If you do this, make sure everything is outlined in writing.
If the debt hasn’t gone to collections yet, the creditor may be willing to work with you. In some cases, creditors might waive fees, lower the total amount due or lower the interest rate if it means they can collect some of the debt from you.
Consult an Attorney
If a debt collector continues to call after you requested they stop or if you don’t owe the debt, consider contacting an attorney. One can advise you of your rights and any next steps you might want to take.
Help Is Available
No one wants to be harassed by creditors, and they shouldn’t be. Remember that regulations that are in place to protect consumers like you. Don’t be afraid to reach out to collectors to ask them to stop calling if it’s interfering with your happiness or day-to-day affairs.
If you have unpaid debt and want to improve your credit situation, ExtraCredit can give you the tools to help you make positive changes. The service lets you track your credit score. It also offers a discount on credit repair services from one of the leaders in credit repair if that’s something you decide to pursue.