Talking to Debt Collectors

If you are getting phone calls from debt collectors, there are several actions you should take when talking to debt collectors. If the calls become harassing, your case will be much strong when you decide to contact a debt harassment attorney like Brian Hoag.

To Do When Talking to Debt Collectors

  • Keep a Log Book – Take notes when you speak to a debt collector. Write down the date and time, name of the debt collector, what debt the collector is after, and what the debt collector says. Keep all mail, copies of texts, etc., as well.
    Consider telling the collector to stop contacting you – You can write to ask the company to stop calling you. However, if you want work towards a settlement, you may not want to take this step.
  • Tell the Collector if the debt is not correct – If this is not your debt, tell the collector. If you don’t owe the debt, tell them as well. Depending on your debt, you may have a statute of limitations protecting you from paying the debt.
    Tell the collector if you legitimately can’t pay – Give them a short explanation of your difficulties. They may try to work with you.
  • Give them your current contact information – If you are upfront about your new address or phone number, the collector has less legal right to contact employers, friends, and family. If they have your address, they cannot contact anyone but you.
  • Know your rights
    • Under both federal and Florida state law, a collector cannot:
      • Threat violence or jail time
      • Pretend to be a government official
      • Speak to your employer except under limited conditions
      • Send derogatory messages about you to a credit reporting agency
      • Contact third parties about your debt or otherwise embarrassing you
      • Contact you between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m. without your permission
      • Claim to be an attorney
      • Send letters that look like attorney or governmental letters but that are not
      • Use profanities when speaking to you
      • Attempt to collect an expired debt
      • Hire an unlicensed credit collection agency
      • Send information on a postcard
      • Communicate with you if you are represented by an attorney
      • Tell you that your original debt interest rate has been increased
      • Shame you by publishing your name as owing money
      • If the debt collection agency violates one of these rules, note it in your log book

DO NOT When Talking to Debt Collectors

  • Give out financial information – This includes your social security number, bank account numbers, or the value of any property (land, cars, etc) that you own.
  • Make a “Good Faith” payment – all this does is extend the statute of limitations on your debt.
  • Admit that the debt is yours, or promise to pay – Your promise can be viewed as a separate contract that extends the statute of limitations. You can make offers of settlement but do it for “the debt,” not “my debt.”
  • Lose your temper – The calls are recorded. If you are abusive toward a polite debt collector, you will look bad in court. Let them be the abusive ones, then contact a debt collection harassment attorney.

talking to debt collectors

About Brian Hoag

Hopefully, you will never be in a position in which you need the legal services of a Tampa personal injury lawyer that specializes in debt collection harassment. If you do, please give Hoag Law Firm a call at or complete your online Free Case Evaluation. A free consultation can help you understand your rights. With honest advice and an experienced attorney at your side, you can recover the largest possible settlement and get back to living your life.


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