If you are a Kohls customer, you will know how inconvenient it can be to receive a phone call from debt collectors. Debt collectors harass consumers on a daily basis and often threaten to send the customer's home or place them in jail if they do not pay their debt off. Many consumers do not know how to stop the harassment. Some choose to ignore the calls but this only makes the harassing behavior more powerful and relentless. As a responsible member of society, you have a right to tell the person on the other end of the line that you will not pay the debt. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act gives you the right to do this.
A good way to educate yourself on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is to talk to an attorney who specializes in debt collection. You should ask your attorney, which means he or she will have legal advice about your particular situation and give you a free no obligation consultation. If they don't have time to talk with you, ask if you can make an appointment where they meet with you face to face and discuss your situation. Some attorneys offer this as part of their service and others simply charge for this.
A good resource for information about the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is the Library of Congress. On their website, you will find a great number of resources. You can learn about the federal guidelines for getting out of debt, the state laws about telephone harassment, and even the rules of professional conduct for debt collectors. The Library also has a whole section about telephone harassment. The rules in this area are called The Telephone Harassment Rule. This rule is important because it makes it against the rights of the consumer to receive repeated telephone calls from a debt collector.
If you are being harassed by a debt collector over the phone, you have the right to give the debt collectors a call answering service that will record the conversation for you. In fact, many answering services do this already for their customers. If the collector already has a recording of your phone number in their system, the debt collectors have no right to harass you again by using your voice again.
Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the only way for debt collectors to contact you again is if you ask them not to. For example, if a collector calls after you've made the initial call to ask if you can wait a few more minutes while they can do another call, you have the right to tell them “no.” If you don't know how to speak to the person on the other end of the line, some libraries have self-help guides that explain everything you need to know. Also, there are several online resources you can turn to for more information. There are many web sites that provide information about both the federal and state laws about kohls phone harassment laws.
The first thing that will happen if you try to tell the person that they cannot call you is that you're probably going to get more phone calls. They may call back that same day, or the following day, or the next week, or any time at all. Remember, if the collectors actually follow through and make those harassing phone calls, that is definitely a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. If you don't get a written statement from the collector, the harassing act can be punished as a criminal misdemeanor in most states. So, the key is to speak with the collector before you ever set up a meeting or any communication that could lead to an eventual court case.
Sometimes, it's just easier to simply pay the bill than deal with all of the issues that come with having harassing phone calls. However, sometimes that's not an option. In those situations, you can always try to talk to your creditors and request that they return the money owed to you on your Kohl's phone bill. Sometimes, you may even be lucky enough to be able to settle your Kohl's phone payment for less than what you owe. If you do end up settling, you'll want to contact the collection agency and report to them that you've settled your Kohl's phone payment.
Again, it's important to note that you should never call the collection agency to complain about your Kohl's phone payment. That is their job. You should only call to get their contact information, and then discuss the situation with them. If you don't get a satisfactory answer, or if you feel as though you were taken advantage of, you may wish to look into filing a complaint with the Credit and Insurance Ombudsman's Office or any other appropriate consumer protection agency.
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