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What to do When a Debt Collection Agency Knocks on Your Door

In a perfect world, your home is your private place of peace and sanctuary. If you owe debt to a lender, though, this privacy is shattered. Phone calls become more frequent and then one day, debt collectors actually start coming to your home! This is truly a nightmare. What can you do? Is this legal? We’ll answer these questions, and more, right now.

Can They Come to Your Home?

To address your first question, yes. Debt collectors can show up in person where you live. That being said, federal laws say they can’t do any of this:

  • Force you to answer the door
  • Enter your home without your permission
  • Take anything off your property
  • Tell your neighbors about your debt
  • Impersonate law enforcement
  • Broadcast your debt problems to the neighborhood
  • Post flyers about your bad debt
  • Threaten to or actually do any physical harm to you
  • Harass or humiliate you into paying
  • Refuse to leave 

There’s essentially no reason for them to come to your home, because there’s nothing they can do in person that they couldn’t do over the phone. They do sometimes try this tactic, though. Why? Because it is scary, so it works! This is what they can and cannot do, but what about you? What can you do?

Know Your Rights

First, one of the most important things you can and should do when a debt collector comes to your home is to know that you have legal rights. If a debt collector contacts you, either in person or over the phone, make sure you ask for basic information, like the name of the debt collection company they are representing and a written notice of your debt. Remember, debt collecting agents must not use improper methods or any form of harassment when contacting you. This means debt collectors agents are not allowed to use abusive language, to humiliate you in front of your neighborhood, or intimidate you with physical violence. If you feel your rights are being violated, or if you simply don’t want them on your property, tell the debt collector to leave immediately. They must comply with this request. 


Please note that property repossession and debt collection are two entirely different things, even though they both deal with a debt being owed. In this case, the lender or property title holder is legally within their right to take your property. For instance, they can repossess your car if you don’t pay your monthly loan payments. If you bought furniture with a credit card and never paid the bill, they can come and take “their” furniture from you. This is not the same thing as debt collection, in a legal sense.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act limits and prohibits many actions, but it actually doesn’t have any provision that prohibits a collector from knocking on your door in an attempt to collect a payment. Having this happen to you is often a wake up call that it’s time to get your debt situation under control and credit fixed once and for all. Safe Credit Solutions is here to make that possible!

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