If you are being harassed by a debt collection agency, you should know your rights under the FDCPA, or Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. If you fall behind in repaying your creditors, or an error is made on your accounts, you may be contacted by a “debt collector.” You should know that in either situation, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) requires that debt collectors treat you fairly and prohibits certain methods of debt collection. Of course, the law does not erase any legitimate debts that you owe. However, if you find you need debt help please contact us!
A collector may contact you in person, by mail, telephone, telegram, or fax. However, a debt collector may not contact you at inconvenient times or places, such as before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m., unless you agree. A debt collector also may not contact you at work if the collector knows that your employer disapproves of such contacts.
Again know your rights under the fair debt collection practices act. A collection agenct must disclose certain information about the debt? For example, within five days after you are first contacted, the collector must send you a written notice telling you the amount of money you owe; the name of the creditor to whom you owe the money; and what action to take if you believe you do not owe the money. A collector may not contact you if, within 30 days after you receive the written notice, you send the collection agency a letter stating you do not owe money. However, a collector can renew collection activities if you are sent proof of the debt, such as a copy of a bill for the amount owed
Prohibited debt collection practices include:
- Debt collectors may not harass, oppress, or abuse you or any third parties they contact.
- Use threats of violence or harm.
- Publish a list of consumers who refuse to pay their debts (except to a credit bureau).
- Use obscene or profane language.
- Repeatedly use the telephone to annoy someone.
- May not use any false or misleading statements when collecting a debt.
For example, debt collectors may not:
- Falsely imply that they are attorneys or government representatives.
- Falsely imply that you have committed a crime.
- Falsely represent that they operate or work for a credit bureau.
- Misrepresent the amount of your debt.
- Indicate that papers being sent to you are legal forms when they are not.
- Indicate that papers being sent to you are not legal forms when they are.
Debt collectors also may not state that:
You will be arrested if you do not pay your debt.
They will seize, garnish, attach, or sell your property or wages, unless the collection agency or creditor intends to do so, and it is legal to do so.
Suggest actions, such as a lawsuit, will be taken against you, when such action legally may not be taken, or when they do not intend to take such action.
Debt collectors may not:
Give false credit information about you to anyone, including a credit bureau.
Send you anything that looks like an official document from a court or government agency when it is not; or use a false name.
Unfair practices. Debt collectors may not engage in unfair practices when they try to collect a debt. For example, collectors may not:
- Collect any amount greater than your debt, unless your state law permits such a charge.
- Deposit a post-dated check prematurely.
- Use deception to make you accept collect calls or pay for telegrams.
- Take or threaten to take your property unless this can be done legally; or contact you by postcard.
You can control where your payments are applied. For example, if you owe more than one debt, any payment you make must be applied to the debt you indicate. A debt collector may not apply a payment to any debt you believe you do not owe.
What you can do if you believe a debt collector violated the law.
You have the right to sue a collector in a state or federal court within one year from the date the law was violated. If you win, you may recover money for the damages you suffered plus an additional amount up to $1,000.
Court costs and attorney’s fees also can be recovered. A group of people also may sue a debt collector and recover money for damages up to $500,000, or one percent of the collector’s net worth, whichever is less.
You can report any problems you have with a debt collector to your state Attorney General’s office and the Federal Trade Commission. Many states have their own debt collection laws, and your Attorney General’s office can help you determine your rights.
For more information about this subject or additional debt help services including a FREE debt reduction quote please reply by simply call out toll free number 1-800-890-6658 or go to our Contact Us page.