With thousands of Americans currently unemployed, many Debt Collection agencies are unfortunately working in high gear. Debts range from returned checks, to unpaid medical bills, to an endless array of unsecured debts such as credit cards and personal loans.
Debt collection agencies deal with first-party and third-party collection cases; first-person debts are when a lender hires the collection agency to work on their behalf and third-party debts are when a lender cheaply sells your debt to a collection agency after writing it off their books. With third-party debts, the collection agency is able to collect the entire debt amount then pocket the profit.
Collection agencies are allowed to contact you through many different means whether it is through mail correspondence, phone calls, or email. They are however required to abide by certain regulations according to their state. In most states, debt collection agencies are allowed up to three collection phone calls within a week's time. Also, these calls are to be made Monday through Saturday, 8 am through 9 pm and just 1 pm through 5 pm on Sundays with no calls on holidays allowed. Debt collection agencies are not allowed to contact family members, friends, employers, or neighbors for acquiring information that is not basic contact information. Any contact outside these restrictions can be considered harassment.
You can communicate with the debt collection agency in writing and request that they do so as well which mandates that they no longer contact you by phone. Through mail correspondence, you can make payment plans or any specified debt reduction arrangements. This avenue of communication does not allow them to mail a bill to you everyday but it does provide documentation in case they become uncooperative, unprofessional, or have already harassed you.
Paying off any debts you have in collections is always the right thing to do. Be sure you confirm the debt is undocumentedly yours before making any payments and request this confirmation in writing. Also, require that once your debts are paid that they are completely removed from your credit report rather than being shown as "Paid Collections". Lenders prefer to not see even these listings on credit reports when determining whether or not to approve a loan application.
Bad debt Collection Agencies are also not supposedly to make contact relating debts which are beyond the date for that state's statute of limitations. Check your state's statute of limitations and the age of your debt before making a payment on it, because a payment of any amount will reactivate the debt, then allowing the agency to resume contacting you about it.