It's easy to fall behind on mortgage payments. Unexpected medical bills, job loss or any number of other factors can contribute to missing one or more mortgage payments. Once a payment is missed it is hard to catch up again. The most annoying part for many homeowners are the harassing phone calls demanding payment. While a creditor has the right to collect the money you owe, there are limits to the methods that a creditor or a third party collection agency can use, and there are ways to stop mortgage phone harassment.
Call your lender. Come up with an honest plan to get your mortgage payments back on track and present your plan to your lender. This may involve extending the loan repayment period in order to bring the homeowner up to date with payments, or it could involve a plan to sell the property. While many homeowners resist this approach, the worst thing you can do is to ignore the problem and just hope it somehow gets better on its own. Calling your lender and making an attempt to work out a new payment plan that you can both live with can end harassing phone calls immediately.
Read the Federal Trade Commission's Fair Debt Collection Practices Act so you know what constitutes mortgage phone harassment. For example, lenders or their agents may not call before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. They may not use abusive language or threaten violence or physical harm.
Send a letter to the creditor demanding that they cease phoning you or contacting your neighbors or your employer by telephone. Demand that all collection activity be conducted through the mail. Send the letter by certified mail and request a return receipt. Threaten action with the Federal Trade Commission if they continue phoning you.
Contact the Federal Trade Commission and file a grievance if a lender (or a third party collection agency) is violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
File a complaint with your state's Attorney General if you believe a creditor is unfairly harassing you by phone.
Hire an attorney. This can seem like a drastic and costly step, but one phone call or letter from an attorney will stop all harassing phone calls.
File bankruptcy. Filing bankruptcy will stop all harassing phone calls immediately. Merely give the caller the number of your bankruptcy filing and that creditor is forbidden to call you again until the bankruptcy is concluded.
- Keep a log of all harassing phone calls, including the time of the call, the name of the person making the call, the company the individual is associated with and any details about the call that you feel make the call inappropriate.
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