The mail boxes of many Rhode Island consumers will soon be over flowing with holiday bills. What do you do if you are experiencing difficulties paying these debts? Reaching out to the credit card company and asking for a temporary reduction in the monthly minimum payment is a good starting point. However, many collection departments don’t want to hear it. They want their money and they expect you to send the payment immediately. They don’t want to hear about increased utility costs, the reduction in hours at work or any reasonable explanation for non payment. Just send them the payment and you will be okay. Most people pay their bills on time if able. However, after the holidays there are some consumers that fall behind on their payments. When the payment is not received on time, the relentless harassment begins. The phones begin to ring incessantly. The collector demands immediate payment and warns of the dire consequences if the payment is not made. ( There are No debtor prisons in Rhode Island, so you will not go to jail if you don’t pay a debt!) You explain your circumstances and there is no response on the other end. They tell you that you should borrow money from a family member or friend to satisfy the obligation. You try to get a word in but the script of the collector does not allow for it. You frantically interject, explaining the reason for your non payment. Your pleas for assistance fall upon deaf ears. They call morning, noon, night and all times in between. Different people from the same company call you. You tell them the same story. The phone calls are driving you crazy so you decide to disconnect the telephone. Ah, peace and sanity are restored to your home, but not for long. The collector is on to you. So they start calling neighbors, friends and even your employer hoping to flush out a return call from you. Does this sound familiar? Are you being harassed and treated unfairly by your creditors? Don’t let them abuse you. While Rhode Island is not progressive by any means when it comes to consumer protection, there are a few good laws in place that regulate the practices of debt collectors.If a collector violates the law, then you can sue for damages. If successful, the offending creditor may have to pay your attorneys fees.