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What's legal and not legal

As consumers, we bear the burden of being legally bound by a credit contract to pay on all outstanding debts by any means necessary.  And in today's economic situation for some of us this literally means borrowing from Paul to pay Peter; only to borrow more money from Peter to pay on a bill. It's a vicious cycle most of us wind up in when we're in debt and then before we know it the debt cloud pours down a reign of financial hardship with no signs of letting up any time soon.

Creditors don't care how the bills get's paid, so long as they're paid. And if the account is not paid they're legally obligated to collect on pass due accounts as they see fit.  This is of course as long as they adhere to specific guidelines that don't cross the boundaries of harassment.

When finances get to the point where creditors will do what they can to collect on past due accounts; you can be sure they will resort to methods that not only come close to harassment but in some cases these methods are well over the boundaries of harassment.

We all know the standard methods debt collectors use; like making countless collection calls at various time of the day and night to you and sometimes your employer to complain about your pass due account and demand payment. While this may seem unethical to some people, the truth is legally they can use this method.  If you ask them to stop, however, in most cases they are obligated to stop.  As long as they are not truly harrassing you, they have a right to make calls to your known phone number.

That is until the collection calls become verbally abusive, threatening beyond standard collection practices or even begin demanding payment in person.  This is when it's considered illegal and beyond the boundaries of harassment. It seems some will stop at nothing.  This is why consumers are asking if legally can debt collectors come to my house to collect on a past due account?

Take the case of an Ohio dog breeder, who went to the home of one of his customers who was two months delinquent on a payment.  The dog breeder couldn't get a hold of the customer, so instead of leaving a note for the customer, he went to the customers' neighbors and verbally discussed the customers' delinquent account.

The dog breeder figured, why wait to place adverse comments on the customers' credit report since bad credit information is public anyway, start early and embarrass the customer by telling his neighbors he has bad credit as an effort to collect on a pass due account.

Clearly this creditor's method breeched the boundaries of harassment when he considered going to his customers home, but to openly discuss the customers delinquent account with the customers neighbors could be a criminal act.  For this reason certain laws pertaining to a creditor's ability to demand payment in person by way of coming to the customers' residence were established.  These laws clearly define the difference in standard debt collection methods as opposed to harassment by the creditor, which is punishable by the customer's legal right to take criminal and civil action against the debt collector.

Although these laws have exceptions to the rule that people in debt should consider the next time they skip out on payment.  One exception in particular states creditors can legally come to a customer's home to collect payment, but only when the payment collection is in exchange for merchandise.  Now here is where the fine line can be drawn.  In this case when asking can debt collectors come to my house and demand payment the answer is yes, if the delinquent accounts meets following guidelines:

  • If the account is for merchandise purchased on credit, that is tangible and has a resale value ( i.e. furniture, electronics, vehicles etc.), and the merchandise is not paid in full, which means the account was established for a future pay off date and was not paid for with a credit card or loan. A good example of this rule is "rent to own" property or any merchandise leasing account which is anchored with a contract for repayment.
  • A debt collector can demand payment in person after all other means of collection methods have been exhausted on an outstanding account or there has been failure on the part of the debtor to return the merchandise. This is the case when a car is repossessed or department store arranges for a merchandise pickup on a delinquent account.
  • Debt collectors can make house calls to demand payment by threatening means if the payment is for services and/or use of services that has become past due. In this circumstance the creditor can come out in order to receive payment from their customer to avoid disconnection of services. Typically this is the case for utilities companies.

There are other exceptions to the rule of debt collectors methods to recover outstanding payments, however knowing when it's legal for a creditor to demand payment in person might answer the question can debt collectors come to my house to demand payment on a past due account?  Go online and get vital information on collection rights and legal methods that allow creditors to come to your home and collect on an outstanding debt.

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