Debt Collection Agencies

Some collection agencies are notorious for harassing clients. Some have cursed at clients, called them names, harassed them by repeatedly calling before 8:00 a.m. or calling after 9:00 p.m.

Believe it or not, some debt collection agencies have even threatened to have their children taken away. Needless to say, all of these actions by collection companies are prohibited by law.

Also, it's important to know that a debt collector is prohibited from threatening you or using any form of violence, profane, or abusive language when attempting to collect a debt.

It's harassment if they repeatedly call you or call and not identify themselves. Nor can they pretend to be something they're not (e.g. police officer, attorney, or government official). The more you know about your rights, the more you can protect your credit.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is the primary Federal Law that governs debt collection activities.

You may not know it, but there are different types of debt collectors. So the FDCPA covers collection activities whether it's by a law firm, collection agency, or original creditor attempting to collect a debt.

They all have to comply. But dealing with collection agencies or dealing with debt buyers may be different than dealing with creditors like credit card companies.

In dealing with debt collectors, it's` important to understand your legal rights. Why? Because once you know what they can or cannot do, you will no longer be intimidated.

Here's just a few prohibited debt collection activities to be aware of when dealing with collection agencies:

  1. A debt collector is prohibited from calling you before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. your local time.

  2. Debt collection agencies cannot call you at your place of employment if they know your employer does not allow you to receive such calls at work.

  3. They may contact 3rd parties to get information about where you live, your telephone number, or place of employment. However, they have to state their own name and cannot tell the person the name of the company they are calling from, unless specifically asked. They can say they are trying to verify or correct your location information, but they cannot say it's about a debt you owe.

  4. They cannot use a post card to communicate to attempt to collect a debt.

  5. If you notify a debt collector to "cease and desist" contacting you, they have to stop calling or writing you except to confirm that they are terminating any further collection activity, or tell you that they may or will proceed with certain specific collection remedies.

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