Debt collectors cannot harass you. In this blog, we’ll take a look at what debt collectors can and cannot do.

Many debt collectors will try to convince you to pay their debt first. Creditors and collectors both know that the main reasons people cannot pay their bills are because of job loss, illness, divorce, or other unexpected life events. Do not let collectors pressure you into paying their debt first. Think about your situation and make the best decision for you.

What Collectors Can Legally Do

If you stop making payments on an unsecured debt (not a tax debt or student loan), collectors can legally do the following in an effort to collect their debt:

  • Refuse to conduct business with you. If one merchant refuses your business, you can usually find another who will still conduct business with you on a cash or credit basis.
  • Report your debt to a credit bureau. Most creditors report the status of all their accounts monthly to a credit bureau. When this happens, your credit record is most likely already damaged some.
  • Contact you about payment. Creditors will attempt to contact you to take care of overdue payments. This is permitted; however, they cannot legally contact relatives, friends, or employers about debts you may have.
  • File a lawsuit. It’s hard to determine when or if a creditor will sue on a past-due bill, but when they do sue, you have the right to respond and raise defense. Failing to respond or show up in court may result in a win by default to the creditor.

Ways to Stop Debt Collection Harassment

Send a “cease” letter. This is the easiest way to stop harassment. Even though you send this letter, you still owe the debt. When you send out this letter, make sure you keep a copy of it and document when you mailed it. If the collector continues to contact you, send them another letter. If the harassment continues, you should contact an attorney.

Stop the phone calls by clearly stating that you no longer wish to be contacted at your number. Collection agencies and creditors are required to stop calling you with an autodialer if you ask them to do so.

Hold off on paying a collector until you’ve verified the debt. Federal law gives you the right to receive a letter of verification of a debt from a third-party collector. Be cautious if collectors try to work out a payment plan on your behalf. This could cause you to be delinquent on more important bills like rent and ultimately cost you more in the end.

If You’ve Experienced Credit Harassment

Be sure to keep track of all out-of-pocket losses and discuss these with your attorney. Keep a log of all collection contacts with as much information as possible. Do not delete abusive voicemails from collectors. If you and your family has experienced credit harassment, you should contact one of our attorneys today.

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Attorney Timothy Manchin established the Manchin Injury Law Group in 2011 after his law partner of more than 25 years became a West Virginia circuit court judge. His focus is on helping individual clients and entire families victimized by negligent acts.

  • Taylor Downs was easy to talk to (I do not speak the legal language well!) and was very upfront and honest about the entire process of my case. He kept me updated as the case progressed, and answered my relentless questions. The end result was a favorable settlement that I’m not sure could have been any better with anyone else. In short, go see Taylor if you have a case. Don’t be intimidated to go seek his help, he won’t blow your brains out with “legal speak”.


  • Being referred to Taylor was the best thing I could have asked for. Taylor and staff are very easy to talk to. I would highly recommend them to anyone.


  • If I ever have to go through it again I would definetly call Taylor right away. The group was so helpful through my situation and handled everything that needed to be done. They made a stressful situation a stress free situation. With Taylor you dont have to worry about one thing. Definietly would recomend to anyone.

    - TAYLOR G.

  • Efficient, knowledgeable, and friendly.


  • Taylor and Tim helped make a difficult moment in life, a little more bearable. Easy to communicate with and informative. I will absolutely recommend them to everyone.


  • Manchin Injury Law Group, Took care of me when I got into a car accident while I was pregnant. Very scary moment for a first time mom but thankfully Manchin Injury Law Group had my back and treated me great. They made me feel as if I was part of their family. My son is now 7 Months Old and very happy and healthy. I’m very thankful for them for helping me through everything and getting me what we deserved. I 100% would recommend them to anyone. If I ever have an accident again they will be my number 1 phone call!


  • The support given helped me to feel like I was included in my personal injury case every step of the way. I was informed about the entire process throughout. It was amazing how quick the turn around time was and I would definitely recommend Attorney Timothy J. Manchin to anyone!


  • Taylor and Kelly worked hard on my case so I didn’t have to. Thanks guys!


  • Excellent experience dealing with Manchin Injury Law. They were very responsive, professional and easy to talk to. I did my homework before I hired a lawyer after my accident and I am so glad I found Manchin Injury Law Group. If you are injured, give them a call!


  • Taylor and Tim helped make a difficult moment in life, a little more bearable. Easy to communicate with and informative. I will absolutely recommend them to everyone.


  • Kelly and Taylor did all the hard work so that I didn’t have to. They both cared about my circumstance and got me a nice settlement. Taylor knows what he is doing and I felt comfortable with my case in his hands.


  • Great lawyers. They helped me with a West Virginia case.


  • Such a great experience with Taylor and this firm. Thankful for their diligence and their work on our case. Thank you to all!


  • Had a easy and smooth experience with a great attorney so when you go there make sure you ask for Taylor.


  • My experience at the Manchin Injury Law Group was extremely positive, and I would recommend them to anyone who needs a compassionate and experienced lawyer on their side.


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