Anyone who has ever had the misfortune of falling behind on bills knows how embarrassing and frustrating calls from debt collectors can be. Though there are regulations concerning when debt collectors can contact debtors, the fact is not every company follows the rules. Debt collectors that are eager to make their quotas often skirt the laws by illegally harassing debtors. Rather than feel powerless, read the following for advice on how to combat overly aggressively debt collectors.
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
Thankfully consumers were not left to fight debt collectors on their own. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was written to lay out consumers’ rights when dealing with collectors and provides steps for what consumers can do to stop collectors that go too far.
FDCPA regulates when debt collectors can contact consumers
One of the most important things to realize is that debt collectors are limited by law in when they can contact consumers. If you’re getting calls late at night then collectors have violated the clear terms of the FDCPA and you have grounds to take action against them. The FDCPA says that debt collectors must not make contact with consumers before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. unless you specifically asked them to do so. Debt collectors are also restricted from contacting you at your workplace if you have informed them that you are not allowed to take calls at the office.
Collectors cannot humiliate consumers
Just because you may have fallen behind on their bills does not give collectors the right to embarrass you in front of family or friends. The FDCPA explain that debt collectors are not allowed to contact third parties such as neighbors, bosses or family members except to obtain contact information for you. When they make these calls they are not permitted to reveal why they are trying to contact you, an important regulation that can protect your privacy. This particular regulation means that debt collectors cannot leave voicemails mentioning a debt.
Collectors cannot threaten
Many people who have been on the receiving end of aggressive debt collection phone calls have heard threats about how the collectors will take a variety of legal action against you or attempt to seize your assets to pay off the debt. The law is clear that debt collectors cannot make idle threats. This means that collectors cannot threaten to seize property that was not used as collateral on the loan nor can they threaten to have debtors arrested.
What can you do to stop the collectors?
If you are receiving aggressive collection calls and you believe the collector has broken the law then the good news is that you can take action to stop it from happening in the future. The FDCPA says that consumers have the right to sue debt collectors for compensation when they cross the line. One good thing about lawsuits against debt collectors is that once you have engaged an attorney the collectors are no longer able to contact your at all, instead having to refer all communication through your attorney.
If you find yourself needing the services of a Charlotte, North Carolina bankruptcy attorney, please call the skilled lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC today at (704) 370-2828. As professionals who are experienced in the bankruptcy arena, our attorneys will provide you with the best advice for your particular situation.
“6 Ways To Keep Aggressive Debt Collectors At Bay,” published at Investopedia.com.
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