The Federal Trade Commission says that debt collectors make one billion contacts with consumers every year.
One billion contacts!
Most of those are phone calls that aggravate, harass and sometimes intimidate consumers, who wonder: How can I make this phone stop ringing?
“Pick it up and say to the person on the other end of the line: Stop calling me!” said Ira Rheingold, an attorney and the executive director of the National Association of Consumer Advocates (NACA).
“But before you hang up, get their name and address, then sit down and write a letter telling them not to call you. Send it by certified mail, return receipt requested so you have a record of this if it keeps going. And knowing the debt collection industry, it probably will.”
Debt collection is a $13.7 billion a year industry. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), one in three consumers – more than 70 million people! – were contacted by a creditor or debt collector in the past year. The CFPB says that 250,000 debt collection complaints have been filed since 2011, about 85,000 of them in 2015 alone.