George Simons | December 01, 2022
Summary: Debt collectors love to take advantage of the elderly. Find out how to keep debt collectors from harassing you and those you care about.
If you are being subjected to harassment by a debt collector, the stress and anxiety can be debilitating. You dread opening the mailbox out of concern that there will be a new threatening letter sent by the collection agency. You avoid phone calls, particularly calls from an unidentified number. You may have trouble sleeping due to concern about your long-term financial future.
Unfortunately, the concerns and stress associated with harassment from debt collectors are quite common and experienced by many people in all walks of life, even elderly individuals. The threats and harassment from a debt collector can be overwhelming for a senior citizen causing unnecessary stress and anxiety which, in some instances, can exacerbate existing health issues.
According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's Office for Older Americans, a frequent complaint from elderly individuals with unpaid debts is the frequent and abusive encounters with debt collectors. One out of every three complaints filed with the CFPB is related to an incident with a debt collector.
Complaints ranged from debt collectors threatening to garnish federal benefits to general harassment. This is extremely troubling, especially when you consider the fact that some elderly individuals have cognitive issues and are at a much greater risk of being taken advantage of by an unethical debt collector.
If you are a senior citizen being subjected to harassing phone calls and correspondence from a debt collector, do not give up hope. There are laws in place that are designed to protect you from such harassment.
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Anyone can be subjected to abusive debt collection practices. Nevertheless, elderly individuals are more vulnerable and, based on public data, frequently file more complaints with the CFPB than any other demographic related to encounters with debt collectors. Some of the types of abusive collection practices that have been reported by elderly individuals include the following:
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If you are a senior citizen being subjected to harassing phone calls and letters from a debt collector, please understand that you do not have to endure such treatment. Debt collectors are required to obey the law regarding fair debt collection practices. At the federal level, Congress enacted the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which prevents debt collectors from taking certain actions when attempting to collect on a debt.
According to the FDCPA, debt collectors are generally not allowed to harass you, your loved ones, work colleagues, etc. in pursuit of repayment on a debt. For example, debt collectors are expressly prohibited under the FDCPA from engaging in the following types of collection practices:
If you send a cease and desist letter to the debt collector telling them to stop phone and written contact, there is a provision in the FDCPA that requires collectors who receive the cease and desist letter to immediately halt making phone calls and sending letters. Though, a cease and desist letter does not prohibit a debt collector from filing a lawsuit.
Senior citizens who are being harangued and threatened by debt collectors have rights and do not have to suffer through such abuse during their golden years. There are federal protections afforded to individuals when it comes to being contacted by debt collectors under the FDCPA. Also, many states have their own set of laws designed to protect individuals, including the elderly, from being abused and harassed by debt collectors.
SoloSuit makes it easy to respond to a debt collection lawsuit.
How it works: SoloSuit is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your answer. Upon completion, you can either print the completed forms and mail in the hard copies to the courts or you can pay SoloSuit to file it for you and to have an attorney review the document.
"First time getting sued by a debt collector and I was searching all over YouTube and ran across SoloSuit, so I decided to buy their services with their attorney reviewed documentation which cost extra but it was well worth it! SoloSuit sent the documentation to the parties and to the court which saved me time from having to go to court and in a few weeks the case got dismissed!" – James
>>Read the FastCompany article: Debt Lawsuits Are Complicated: This Website Makes Them Simpler To Navigate
>>Read the NPR story on SoloSuit: A Student Solution To Give Utah Debtors A Fighting Chance
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