Are you being harassed by debt collectors? Call 1-800-695-7674 today, and we can help you stop the harassment.
When you’re dealing with debt collectors, you might be afraid to answer your phone. Every step towards the mailbox may feel like dragging your legs in concrete, and you dread the moment you have to open those envelopes. What’s next? Is there any way that you can stop the constant calls and notification and get your life back?
The Consumer Credit Protection Act was designed to protect consumers from abusive debt collection practices. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, amends the CCPA by providing consumers with ways to have debts validated and dispute incorrectly reported information. Thanks to the FDCPA, consumers have certain established rights when it comes to debt collection, and debt collectors who violate these rights or have abusive practices will face penalties. The FDCPA often goes hand-in-hand with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
Acceptable Collection Practices
Debt collectors must begin by identifying themselves and that they are a debt collector. They must be notified that they have a right to dispute the debt and provided with verification of the debt. Collectors must also notify the consumer that the information gathered through the contact will be used to further collect the debt. When requested in writing, the collector must provide the name and address of the original creditor. Finally, if the collector chooses to sue for the debt, the lawsuit must be filed where the consumer either lives or where the consumer originally signed the contract.
Prohibited Collection Practices
Some of the FDCPA rules include:
- Collectors may only call between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.
- Collectors may not call repeatedly or continuously, nor may they engage a consumer with the intent to harass, abuse or annoy.
- Collectors may not use abusive language.
- Collectors must not contact consumers at their workplace if they have been told that the employer prohibits such contact.
- Collectors may not call consumers who are known to have legal counsel or representation.
- Collectors may not use deception or misrepresent the debt, including impersonating attorneys or law enforcement officers.
- Collectors may not threaten arrest or legal action if prohibited or not considered.
- Collectors may not place or threaten to place a false report on the consumer’s credit report.
- Collectors cannot discuss the debt with third parties apart from the consumer’s attorney or spouse.
- Collectors may not publish names or addresses on bad debt lists.
- Collectors may not continue to contact consumers once the collector has received written notice that the consumer refuses to pay the debt or no longer wishes to communicate with the collector. However, the debt collector may contact the consumer to advise that a lawsuit has been initiated, collection efforts are being terminated or the collector is pursuing other remedies.
The FDCPA is strictly enforced to protect consumers from unfair or harassing bill collectors, and debt collectors can be taken to court for any violations. If a collector violates the FDCPA, they may be subject to attorney’s fees, monetary damages and more.
Legally, debts are your responsibility, but that doesn’t give debt collectors the right to harass you. They must be honest, open and only contact you using the guidelines set forward by the FDCPA. If you’re dealing with an unscrupulous debt collector or are being harassed, First America Law can help. Our bankruptcy representatives will work with you to find the best way forward so that you can enjoy financial freedom as well as freedom from harassment. Call us today at 1-800-695-7674 to get your free evaluation.