Can you simply ignore debt collectors?

On Behalf of | May 16, 2024 | debt relief |

If you’ve fallen behind on payments and racked up debt, you’re probably all too familiar with the persistent calls and letters from debt collectors. As the harassment escalates, you may be tempted to stop answering and ignore them completely. 

However, ignoring your debt collectors is generally not a wise strategy. It’s unlikely to make them go away and can potentially lead to much bigger headaches. While it may be tempting to avoid debt collectors altogether, this strategy can backfire and lead to more serious financial issues.

Consequences of ignoring debt collectors

Ignoring debt collectors may cause them to escalate their collection efforts and tactics. Debt that remains unresolved gives collectors more motivation to continue pursuit, including potential legal action against you, such as garnishing wages or putting liens on your property. The debt and added interest and penalties can continue growing until it’s resolved.

Opportunities lost by ignoring debt collectors

If you don’t respond to contacts from debt collectors, you lose the opportunity to potentially negotiate for more affordable payment plans or settlements on what you owe. Ignoring debt collectors may also prevent you from disputing any incorrect or invalid debts they may be trying to collect from you. 

Your rights against harassment

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) establishes specific rules debt collectors must follow when trying to collect a debt from you. This helps ensure they treat you fairly and ethically. For example, they cannot call you before 8 am or after 9 pm, use any abusive or threatening language or contact third parties about your debts in most cases. If you encounter violations of your rights, you may be able to take legal action against the collector.

Ignoring debt collectors is unlikely to make an outstanding debt go away and may lead to compounding fees and interest – or even court judgments against you. While you need to be responsive to legitimate collection efforts, you can work with reliable legal services to resolve debts through the best collection practices.