Being in debt is stressful and knowing why debt collection laws protect you can help bring relief.
You may be struggling to pay your bills and have fallen behind, but you’re not alone.
Many people today are dealing with debt. While you may believe that being in debt involves daily phone harassment by debt collectors, this isn’t the case.
Why does this matter?
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) set up by the Federal Trade Commission (FTA) established debt collection laws that PROTECT you from unfair, abusive or deceptive debt collection practices.
Watch: What is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the FCCPA?
Debt Collection Lawyer, Jordan Shaw explains what the FDCPA is and how it protects you and what the FCCPA adds to the FDCPA. Debt collectors can include companies that purchase delinquent debts and collection agencies.
#1 Debts covered by FDCPA
Did you know?
The FDCPA covers household, personal, and family debts. These debts can include balances owed on an auto loan, medical bill, personal credit card and mortgage. If you’ve incurred debt running a business, the Act doesn’t cover it.
#2 Debt collection laws protect from inconvenient contact
The FDCPA prohibits debt collectors from contacting you during times and at places that are inconvenient.
This means that debt collectors can’t contact you before 8:00a.m. or after 9:00p.m.
They also can’t contact you at work if you’ve informed them that you can’t receive calls at work.
Although debt collectors can communicate with you via phone, email, text message or letter, they have to do so following rules and disclosing that they’re debt collectors.
Thanks to debt collection laws, it’s illegal for debt collectors to present to be a government agency or anyone other than a debt collector in order to threaten or harass you.
The best part.
#3 Debt collection laws can help reduce or halt contact
When a debt collector contacts you, you can try talking to them to try and resolve the situation.
Following that communication, if you don’t wish further contact from that debt collector, you have to contact them in writing and instruct them to cease contact.
Write the letter, make a copy for yourself and send it certified mail with the return receipt.”
The return receipt gives you the proper documentation proving that the debt collector received the letter.
Upon receipt of your letter, the debt collector can’t contact you further aside from informing you they’ve received the letter or to advise you that they may take an action such as filing a lawsuit.
Your letter stops the debt collector from contacting you, but it doesn’t eliminate the debt and the collector may still sue you.
That’s not all.
#4 Protection from third party contact
When you have a debt collection attorney for representation of your debt, debt collection laws require that the collector speaks with your attorney and not you.
However, if you don’t have a debt collection attorney, a collector may contact third parties to inquire about your home phone number, workplace, and address.
Debt collection laws usually prohibit more than one contact with third parties and they generally don’t have permission to discuss your debt with anyone aside from yourself, your spouse or your lawyer, protecting you from unfair practices.
#5 Debt collection laws protect you from certain actions that debt collectors may try to use to collect the money they believe you owe.
These actions include:
- Harassment, abuse or oppression of you or third parties
- Threatening harm or violence
- Publishing list of people who owe them debt
- Using profane or obscene language
- Continually annoying someone via phone contact
- Lying by saying they’re government representative or lawyers
- Lying that you’ve committed a crime
- Lying that they work for a credit reporting company
- Lying about the amount of debt you owe
- Claiming papers sent are legal forms when they’re not or vice versa
- Threatening arrest
- Threatening to garnish, seize, sell or attach wages or property if they don’t have the legal right to do so or if they don’t intend to do so
- Giving false credit information about you to a credit reporting company of anyone else
- Sending you documents that appear official when they’re not
- Using false company names during contact
- Trying to collect money on top of the debt you owe unless the original contract or state law allows it
- Threatening to take your property unless it’s legal for them to do so
- Contacting you via postcard
#6 Debt collection laws protect federal benefits
If debt collectors go through proceedings that enable them to garnish wages, it’s important to realize that debt collection laws protect certain federal benefits.
These benefits include Social Security, SSI, Veterans’, Disability, Federal Retirement, Civil Service, Survivors’, Military Annuities and Federal Emergency Management Agency Federal Disaster Assistance.”
There are some circumstances where garnishing of federal benefits occurs such as to pay child support, student loans, alimony or delinquent taxes.
Knowing your rights under debt collection laws can reduce stress and anxiety. There’s no reason to endure harassment from debt collectors. If you believe they’ve violated your rights, it’s vital to seek an experienced debt collection attorney.
We want to hear from you, Call us at (954) 933-5083 with questions or comments.
Debt collection laws provide protection.
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