Debt collectors have a job to do. They must obtain consumer debt that has been missing for a long period of time. When consumers allow their debt to pile up to an unmanageable level, they should not be surprised when debt collectors come calling. However, they should be aware that, when it comes to debt collections
, there are rules that must be followed. According to the Privacy Rights Clearing House, discussions about debt can only be held with the individual, the creditor, an attorney representing one of the parties and a credit bureau. Debt collectors can not publicly air someone's business with the intent of shaming them into paying up. Debt collectors also cannot exchange information with other agencies about individuals who allegedly owe money, distribute a list of alleged debtors to creditor subscribers, advertise a debt for sale, compile a list of debtors for sale to others, or leave messages with third parties asking them to have the debtor call the collector, says the site. The bottom line is that, although debtors owe a great deal of money, they should be treated as people and not as paychecks. It is most likely that the consumer experienced a financial hardship that forced him or her into this predicament, and they may already feel a great deal of shame about the situation.