Dealing with Debt Collectors (Video)

Authored By: Federal Trade Commission


If you're behind on payments, you'll probably be hearing from debt collectors. Federal law gives you certain rights in dealing with debt collectors. It's important to understand those rights when communicating with them.



Transcript of Video:

In uncertain times, what can you be sure about? The sun rises in the East. What goes up must come down. Night follows day.

But here’s something else: when it comes to dealing with debt collectors, federal law gives you rights.

For example, debt collectors: Can’t call before 8 in the morning or after 9 at night. Can’t curse or insult you. Can’t demand that you pay more than you owe. Can’t lie about anything – they can’t say that papers they send you are legal forms if they’re not – nor can they make up consequences for not paying your debt. And they can’t call you at work if your employer doesn’t allow it.

You also have the right to stop debt collectors from calling you. How do you do that? You have to notify them in writing. Sending them a letter should stop the phone calls, but of course, it doesn’t wipe out your debt.

There’s helpful information about dealing with debt at – a website from the Federal Trade Commission. It explains the rules of behavior for debt collectors. Take a look - there are some that may surprise you.

If your debts have gone into collection, remember that you have rights. Asserting your rights doesn’t make your debt go away, but it does give you a voice. The more you know about how to manage your debt and deal with debt collectors the better off you can be…after all, money matters.

If you think that a debt collector has violated the law, report it. File your complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at Your complaint gives law enforcement a lead to follow up on, and may stop it from happening to someone else.

The Federal Trade Commission is the nation’s consumer protection agency. For more tips on credit and debt visit – or 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357)