Debt Collectors who harass you
How you can deal with Debt Collectors
Debt Collectors are paid for the collection calls they make and for the number of letters of demand that they send out. That is why they call you and harass you so much.
Their main aim always seems to be to get you to relent (give in) and just sign an acknowledgement of debt to get rid of them. If you do, then they have won!
Read the article on Prescription of debt – never, never sign anything and never admit to owing anything.
Beware of debt collectors who often buy old debts and try to revive these debts by harassing you to pay. Don’t give in to their tactics. You have rights!
What debt collectors can do:
1) They can garnish your salary when the court issues such an order. Read the article on Emoluments Attachment Order (EAO) and Garnishees.
2) They could in extreme instances and with the consent of the court take possession of your assets.
3) They can also apply to the court to have a lien placed against your assets which would prevent you from selling or using it as collateral security.
What debt collectors cannot do:According to the South African Council for Debt Collectors they may not
Call you before 8am or after 9pm unless you agree to them doing so.
Call you on a Sunday.
Contact you at work if they know that your employer does not want you to be contacted during working hours.
Get in touch with your employer about your debts.
Contact your friends, neighbours or relatives unless they need your contact details but they cannot discuss these issues with them.
Communicate with you about your debt by using a postcard or an envelope that clearly indicates that a debt collector has sent it.
Use a letter or envelope to communicate with you that appears to have come from a government agency or a court.
Call you repeatedly within a relatively short period of time, for instance in a single morning or afternoon.
Swear or insult you during a conversation, or threaten you with loss of reputation or with jail time.
Order you to accept calls from them.
Deposit a post-dated cheque you have given them before the date on the cheque.
Collect more than you owe on a debt unless the contract you have with the creditor that turned your debt over to collections allows them to do so.