Carrying outstanding debt is stressful enough, but when you add aggressive debt collectors to the equation, it can be a bit overwhelming. Have you ever sat back and wondered if what they are doing is legal? Debt collectors do have limits, and they are required by law to follow certain guidelines.
Debt collectors must comply with the Federal Debt Collection Practices Act, FDCPA; this act prohibits abusive, deceptive and unfair debt practices
The FDCPA defines a debt collector as a company or agency that is in the business of recovering outstanding money that is owed on a delinquent account. Debtors will hire debt collectors to collect money that owed to them, and in return give them a percentage of the portion that is collected.
Typical Debt Collector Violations
- Calling Before 8 AM
- Calling After 9 PM
- Using abusive or vulgar language
- Calling third parties, (debt collectors may contact your spouse)
- Communicate to anyone else that the collector is trying to collect
- Contacting you after you have submitted a written request to cease contact
- Continuously call you
- Use or threaten violence
- Threaten action they cannot take
- Failing to send a written statement validating the debt
- Continues to Collect before sending validation letter
- Contacting your employer if your employer prohibits it
- Debt collectors may often use false statements.
- Threatening to have you arrested or that you are being sued when no action has been taken
- Giving false information to the credit reporting agencies.
- Sending a letter that looks like an official court document if it isn’t
- Collecting interest, fees, or other charges on top of what you owe, unless it is in the contract
- Contacting by using a postcard.
- Repeatedly call you to harras you.
What to Do If You Believe A Debt Collector is in Violation of the FDCPA
If you feel a debt collector has violated the FDCPA you have the right to take action.
You may report any problems you have with a debt collector to your state Attorney Generals Office, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. You may also reach out to an attorney that practices law in these areas, you have the right to sue a collector within in one year from the date the law was violated. If you win, the judge can require the collector to pay you for any damages you can prove you suffered. The judge may also grant you up to $1000 even if you can’t prove that you suffered any damages.
If you feel you have been violated in the last year, Credit Law Center isn’t just a credit repair company. We have five attorneys on staff that handle situations like this every day. These laws are here for to help protect you.