you may run into difficulty keeping up with payments on debts.
When payments are not made, creditors or debt collection companies
may step up their collection efforts by mailing notices, making
phone calls and even taking legal action. We all have an obligation
to pay valid debts. However, if debt collectors are causing
you problems, there are certain legal protections which may
by Debt Collectors
- Debt collectors
cannot threaten to contact, or actually contact, your employer,
relatives, or friends about your debt except in very limited
circumstances. For example, the collector can confirm your employment
or address. However, your debts are your business and a debt
collector may not tell your family members or co-workers about
your debts. If you have an attorney, you can require the debt
collector to contact your attorney and stop contacting you personally.
- If you
receive unwelcome calls from debt collectors at home or work,
you should write a letter that clearly tells them not to call
and why. It can include information such as that the calls could
jeopardize your job, or that repeated calls are harassing you.
The letter can also tell the debt collectors how they should
reach you, such as only contacting you by mail, at your home
address. Send the letter certified mail and keep a copy for
Even though debt collectors threaten garnishment, they cannot
actually garnish your wages without first suing you in court
and winning a judgment. A debtor can often pay-off or renegotiate
the debt before a lawsuit is filed, or before an unpaid judgment
has advanced to the garnishment stage.
valid debts should be paid, when the collector does call or
write according to your instructions, it is important for you
to respond. Instead of handling matters on the phone, we recommend
dealing with debt collectors in writing as much as possible.
Therefore any agreement for payment is in writing and you have
To request further information or to file
a complaint, write to:
Consumer Protection division
1305 E. Walnut
Des Moines, IA 50319