What Are My Rights?
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is designed to protect consumers from being abused by the debt collections industry. Knowing your rights can prevent undue stress.
The following are things that debt collectors cannot do, according to the terms of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA):
*Debt collectors cannot contact consumers by telephone outside of the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
*Debt collectors cannot communicate with consumers in any way (other than litigation) after receiving written notice stating that the consumer wishes no further communication or refuses to pay the alleged debt, with certain exceptions, including advising that collection efforts are being terminated or that the collector intends to file a lawsuit or pursue other remedies where permitted
*Debt collectors cannot contact a consumer known to be represented by an attorney
*A debt collector cannot communicate with consumers at their place of employment after having been advised that this is unacceptable or prohibited by the employer
*A debt collector cannot threaten arrest or legal action that is either not permitted or not actually intended
*A debt collector cannot call or engage any person in phone conversation repeatedly or continuously: with intent to annoy, abuse, or harass any person at the called number.
*A debt collector cannot communicate with the consumer or the pursuing collection efforts by the debt collector after receipt of a consumer’s written request for verification of a debt made within the 30 day validation period (or for the name and address of the original creditor on a debt) and before the debt collector mails the consumer the requested verification or original creditor’s name and address
*A debt collector cannot pretend that he or she is an attorney or law enforcement officer
*A debt collector cannot publish a consumer’s name or address on a “bad debt” list
*A debt collector cannot use abusive or profane language used in the course of communication related to the debt
*A debt collector cannot seek unjustified amounts, which would include demanding any amounts not permitted under an applicable contract or as provided under applicable law
*A debt collector cannot report false information on a consumer’s credit report or threatening to do so in the process of collection
*A debt collector cannot communicate with third parties: revealing or discussing the nature of debts with third parties (other than the consumer’s spouse or attorney)
*A debt collector cannot communicate by obvious mediums such as by post card, or using any language or symbol, other than the debt collector’s address, on any envelope when communicating with a consumer by use of the mails or by telegram, except that a debt collector may use his business name if such name does not indicate that he is in the debt collection business
If your consumer rights are being violated by debt collectors who don’t follow the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act guidelines, contact us for a free case review. We help American consumers understand their rights under the FDCPA and represent those who are entitled to compensation for money damages.