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How to Stop Bull City Financial From Harassing You

Understanding your rights

Dealing with aggressive debt collectors is stressful. Companies like Bull City Financial often use questionable tactics to get people to pay up. But you have rights under federal and state laws to protect you. Knowing exactly what debt collectors can and can’t do legally is key to getting them to back off. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) outlines what third-party debt collectors like Bull City Financial can and can’t do when trying to collect. For example, they can’t:

  • Call you repeatedly in a harassing way, like 8 times a day
  • Use obscene or profane language
  • Make threats of violence or harm
  • Publish your name as someone who refuses to pay debts
  • Call outside the hours of 8am to 9pm your local time

If a collector breaks these rules, you can sue them. There are also state laws that give you additional rights and protections.So step one is understanding exactly what rights you have in your state when a debt collector calls. That way you can call them out if they cross the line.

Firmly say you refuse to pay

If the debt isn’t yours or is too old to be legally collected, be firm and say you refuse to pay a cent. Debt collectors often use aggressive and questionable tactics hoping people will crack and pay up even if they don’t have to.Don’t fall for it. Stand your ground and clearly state this is not your debt and you won’t be making any payment or arrangement. Repeat as needed, staying calm but firm.If the debt is legitimately yours, be honest and explain your situation – lost job, medical bills, etc. Most collectors will work with you if you show a willingness to pay what you can.But if they won’t be reasonable and continue to harass you, it’s time to get serious about stopping the calls.<h2>Send a cease and desist letter</h2> Under the FDCPA, if you send a debt collector a letter saying you refuse to pay or want them to stop contacting you, they legally have to comply. This is called a cease and desist letter.There are templates online you can use for free from sites like Rocket Lawyer and NOLO. Look up examples for your state.The letter doesn’t have to be fancy or even from a lawyer to be legally binding. Write it yourself, include key details about the debt and your previous requests for them to stop calling, date it, print it, and mail it certified mail with return receipt requested. This creates an official record you sent the letter with proof they received it.Keep a copy for your records along with detailed notes about all calls, who you spoke to, what was said, dates, times, etc. This documentation comes in handy if you have to sue a collector for breaking the law. Detailed records show clearly what illegal actions they took.<h2>Report violations</h2> Reporting violations to the authorities also helps stop rogue debt collectors. If calls don’t stop after your cease and desist letter, report them to:

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  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB): File a complaint about attempts to collect debt online or by calling (855) 411-CFPB (2372).
  • State attorney general: Find your state AG here and file a complaint about FDCPA or state law violations. They can investigate and fine collectors.
  • Federal Trade Commission (FTC): Report violations online or call 877-FTC-HELP (877-382-4357).
  • Better Business Bureau (BBB): File a complaint on the BBB site for the collector’s location. This alerts other consumers about shady practices.
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When authorities get multiple complaints about a company, they usually take action with warnings and fines to stop the illegal behavior. This helps protect your rights and stops collectors from harassing other people too. <h2>Consider legal action</h2> If nothing stops the harassment and illegal calls, talk to consumer protection attorney. Debt collectors who knowingly and repeatedly violate the FDCPA and state debt collection laws can get hit with hefty fines, especially for things like:

  • Calling repeatedly a day or week after being told to stop
  • Using obscene/profane language or making threats
  • Publishing your name for refusal to pay a debt
  • Calling outside legal hours after being told when you are and aren’t available
  • Calling your workplace after being told this is prohibited

Damages can add up fast. Under the FDCPA you can recover:

  • Up to $1,000 in statutory damages
  • Actual financial loss due to the violations
  • Emotional distress damages
  • Attorney fees and court costs

So if a collector causes you to lose out on a job or promotion, or you have medical bills for anxiety and sleepless nights thanks to constant harassment, you may be looking at $10,000 or more in damages.Most debt collectors quickly settle cases quietly before trial when faced with good documentation and attorney representation. But even taking a collector to court and getting a judgement sends a strong warning to change tactics or risk getting slapped with penalties again.

Watch out for fake collectors

Unfortunately, scam artists are now getting in on the debt collection con game. It works like this:

  • They make up a fake collection company name and buy old debt data online
  • Then they call demanding payment on very old debt people no longer legally owe
  • Using threats and intimidation they scare victims into paying immediately over the phone
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Don’t fall for this! Fake debt collectors often don’t even have all your info correct or send required written notifications about the debt.Follow tips from the FTC like:

  • Ask for full name, company, street address, and phone
  • Confirm they are contacting you specifically about your debt (not general inquiries)
  • Ask for written verification of the debt like when it was incurred, the amount, who they’ve contacted about it, etc.
  • Know the signs of a scam collector: Threats, aggression, refusal to provide info in writing, asking for immediate payment over the phone, etc.

Bottom line – never pay a supposed collector without first validating everything in writing. If they won’t provide details or try to force immediate phone payment, it’s probably a scam.

Prevent future harassment

Getting debt collectors off your back now also means implementing strategies to avoid dealing with them again later. Steps like:

  • Paying bills on time going forward
  • Paying down existing debts
  • Boosting your credit score
  • Saving for emergencies

It also helps to learn better financial management strategies:

  • Creating a budget
  • Tracking spending
  • Increasing income
  • Getting consumer credit counseling if needed

The less unpaid debt you have that gets turned over to collectors, the fewer harassing calls you’ll field. It takes diligence and discipline, but is so worth it!Debt collectors who use illegal and abusive tactics should not get away with causing consumers excessive stress and anxiety. Report them, sue them if necessary, and take back control of your finances!

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