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How a Consumer Advocate Can Help You Handle Debt Collectors

Jun 12, 2008
A Consumer Advocate specializing in Debt Collection Practices can be an effective option to help you get through the credit collection process. Consumer Advocates or Unions are set up to act as a layer of protection between you and the creditor/collector once your debts fall behind. Most Consumers Unions were formed by experienced professionals from the Debt Reduction, Credit Counseling, Student Loan, Mortgage, Credit Card, and Collection Industry. These groups were created in response to abusive creditor collection techniques used against clients involved in Debt Relief Programs. Realizing first hand that most clients have little knowledge of their rights and are ill equipped to handle collection harassment, the Consumers Union was designed to help debtors stand up to the creditors. Most Consumer Advocate's help their clients through a combination of client Education and Protection.

The first goal of the Consumers Union is to educate clients on their rights when they are being pursued by a debt collector. These rights are granted by state law and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). This act specifies what kind of behavior is acceptable when collecting a debt including the time of day a debtor can be called, what defines a debt collector, ways a collector can try to make contact, use of vulgar language or threats of violence, and excessive/repeated phone calls. These laws are commonly violated by collectors either because they are poorly trained or are counting on the fact that the consumer does not understand or are unaware of their rights. Being in debt and getting creditor calls can be an extremely stressful and intimidating situation. Even some people who do know their rights are too frightened by the collectors to take action. This is where the Consumers Union can step in between you and the creditor to offer the protection you need in this vulnerable situation.

A Consumer Advocate is not only designed to educate but also to protect their members. If you are dealing with a collector who is ignoring the laws which regulate their industry, the Consumers Union should be able to contact the abusive creditor on your behalf. Most unions will provide helpful documentation regarding your rights, a call script for handling collector calls, and calls logs for tracking purposes. In many cases a cease and desist letter will be sent instructing the Debt Collector to cease all communication with the client. If this is ineffective they can help you file a complaint or even refer you to an attorney if need be.

In the Debt Relief industry, the services of a Consumers Union will usually be offered with or as part of a Debt Help program such as Debt Settlement, Debt Reduction, Credit Counseling, Debt Management or Foreclosure Relief. Most of these organizations have in-house customer service departments that can help clients deal with Debt Collectors and the Consumers Union will be utilized in extreme cases of abuse and harassment. For many people the Consumers Union can help relieve a lot of the pressure associated with the inevitable Creditor Collection calls when a debt falls behind.
About the Author
Adam Jasa is the Founder of Select Debt Relief www.selectdebtrelief.com. Previously Adam worked with the Freedom Financial Network in their Financial Consulting Department. He is an expert in the different options available to consumers with unmanageable debt burdens. His company, Select Debt Relief is a member of Debt Resolution Partners which currently manages over $950 million of consumer debt.
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