Know Your Rights – Can Collection Agencies harass you?
Does the following bad credit scenario seem sadly familiar? “The collection agencies have been calling me all hours of the day and night. How can I get them to stop contacting me?” People in challenging credit situations might have to deal with these annoying calls, but do they have to put up with them?
Do collection agencies have a legal right to pursue debtors at all hours?
In order to deal with debt collectors, it pays to learn what they can and cannot legally do. Although most bill collectors are careful to follow the law some are not so particular.
Federal law prohibits bill collectors who work for a collection agency to call you at unreasonable times. The law treats calls made before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. as calls made at unreasonable times. For some people calls at other hours might also be unreasonable, for example, calls made to night workers in daytime hours.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA, 15 U.S.C. § 1692 and following laws) bar debt collectors from a number of unfair debt collection practices. They are not allowed to:
– Harass debtors
– Use abusive language
– Use false or misleading statements
– Add unauthorized charges
The FDCPA also gives you a right to demand in writing that a collection agency stops contacting you, There are a couple of exceptions to the no contact request – they can let you know that the collection efforts have ended, or that the creditor or collection agency plans to sue you. Hopefully, it will not get as far at that!
Do the FDCPA Provisions cover all Debt Collectors?
It is important to note that the FDCPA legislation only covers debt collectors who work for collection agencies. These restrictions do not apply to employees of the creditor’s own collections department.
Help is Available — don’t forgo your legal rights
If a debt collector that works for a collection agency breaks the law, you can take steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Our experienced team knows the steps required to quickly put a stop to unfair debt collection practices.
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