Frequently Asked Questions

1. How May Debt Collectors Contact You?

A debt collection agency may contact you in person, by telephone or in writing
and must disclose the purpose of the contact. Debt collection agencies are restricted, however, from contacting you at inconvenient times or places (for example, before 8 AM or after 9 PM), unless you agree.  A debt collection agency is prohibited from contacting you at your place of employment if the agency knows that your employer disapproves.

2. What If You Do Not Owe the Debt?

To dispute a debt, you must write a letter to the debt collection agency within thirty days of their initial contact with you.  If you dispute a debt, the debt collection agency is prohibited by law from contacting you again until it sends you verification of your debt.  

3.  How Can You Stop Debt Collectors From Contacting You?

To stop a debt collection agency from contacting you, you must write a letter to the debt collection agency to ask that they stop contacting you.  Once a debt collection agency receives your letter, the agency may not contact you any further except to inform you that there will be no further contact or that the agency or the creditor intends to takes some specific action.  However, submitting a letter asking a debt collection agency to stop contacting you does not prevent the agency from instituting legal action against you to collect the debt. 

4. What should you do when you experience financial problems?

There is nothing to be ashamed about if you are experiencing difficulties meeting all your financial obligations. It is important, however, that you reach out for assistance if you believe you can not handle your bills.

If you are experiencing credit-related financial problems or debt collection phone calls, consider contacting a not-for-profit credit counseling agency that is licensed by the New York State Banking Department for assistance. Generally, these organizations offer assistance for free or at minimal expense in paying back your debts.