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Study shows that abuses by debt collection agencies are common

Florida residents who are in debt may be interested in learning about the results of a recent study about debt collectors. The research, which was conducted by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, was based off responses from around 2,000 people who had dealt with debt collection agencies. The results of the study showed that debt collectors don't always abide by the rules they're supposed to follow.

According to the CFPB, 40 percent of respondents said they received phone calls from debt collectors four or more times a week. This amount could constitute harassment. In addition, some of the calls respondents received were about a bill that wasn't theirs. In other cases, the debt collectors stated an incorrect unpaid balance.

By law, collectors are required to stop calling after the debtor puts in a written request to stop communications. However, around 75 percent of respondents said that the agencies ignored their requests and continued calling them. The CFPB's director said the findings of the study are a concern. The watchdog agency hopes to further the protections that are in place to help stop creditor harassment. Future rules may limit how many times per week a debt collector can contact someone.

A person may receive phone calls from a debt collection agency because they're unable to make their minimum payments. In this case, they may want to consider filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which is also called a wage earner's plan. By filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a debtor agrees to pay off their debts over a period of three or five years.

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