The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act or (FDCPA) was originally passed in 1977, by Congress. This is a federal law that governs how collection agencies can contact you.
It also regulates how debt collectors can behave during the collection process. This law that protects your rights as a consumer. It was created to prevent you from being abused and manipulated by debt collection agencies.
- Debt collectors can only contact you between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. (unless you expressly instruct them differently).
- They can not contact you at your place of employment.
However, you need to tell them this. We strongly encourage you to tell them through a written letter with return receipt, so you have evidence of your request.
- They can not insult, curse, or abuse you verbally.
- They can not lie about legal documentation they are sending you, claiming it is not legal documents.
- They can not send you documents claiming they are not legal, if they are in fact legal documents.
- They must comply with a cease and desist letter from you and stop communicating upon receipt.
- If you request debt validation. They must stop communications.
However, if they comply with this request and do validate your debt. Then, they can contact you again upon validation.
- They can not communicate with third parties about your debt.
In other words, discussing your debt with anyone other than you, your spouse, or your attorney.
- They can not threaten arrest or legal action against you!
- They can not misrepresent themselves claiming to be an attorney, local authorities, or anyone other than a debt collection agency.
What If Your Rights Have Been Violated?
It is unfortunately common for collection agencies to completely disregard the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). This is why debt collectors are regularly fined by the FTC or Federal Trade Commission for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
Asset Acceptance LLC a collection agency was fined $2.5 million by the FTC in 2012 for violating consumer rights! This is not the biggest fine handed down by the FTC to collection agencies or the only collection agency to be fined! According to the FTC if your rights are violated, you should report the collection agency to the FTC.
We would encourage you to also report them to your local state authorities, and you can contact a credit attorney. The collection agency may be liable for up to $1,000 for violating your rights. It is important that you don’t just ignore debt collections.
Depending on the size of your debt. The collection agency could file a lawsuit and get a judgment against you. A credit report judgment is going to significantly lower your credit score. This is when a collection agency has sued you in a civil court for repayment of a debt.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was passed by Congress to protect your rights. This law was created to regulate aggressive and abusive collection agencies. We must share one horror story of an aggressive, abusive, and law breaking collection agency.
There is a report of one woman repeatedly being harassed by a debt collector. This debt collector went as far as calling this woman and threatening to seize her home, if she didn’t pay. The collection agency was somehow able to get their phone number show up on this woman’s caller ID as the local Sheriff’s office.
Luckily, she was a very knowledgeable consumer. She contacted an attorney and ultimately sued this collection agency and won. She doesn’t expect to collect payment from this debt collector. But she did protect her rights and hopefully put this collection agency out of business.
Don’t let your rights get violated and get expert credit help with a free credit consultation by calling toll-free 1-877-418-7596. And for more tips and strategies with Dan Willis sign up for our free newsletter.
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