Are You Tired of Creditors Harassing You? Did You Know That You Have Legal Rights?
Knowledge is power against creditors. There are numerous of laws that protect us against creditors and collection practices. It’s time to get educated, it’s time to end collection harassment calls.
Presently, there’s more and more consumer struggling to pay off their debt, some collection agencies are opting for unfair means to collect payments from debt-ridden consumers ignoring the debt collection laws. However, to stop such malpractices and help debtors combat such illegal collection agency harassment, the FTC has come forward with the FDCPA, which gives debtors legal rights to sue those debt collectors who illegally threaten, intimidate or harass them.
The following are examples of the most common types of harassment techniques used by collectors. If you’ve experienced this and would like to learn more, please submit your information to Easy Solutions.
Do’s and Don’ts from Debt Collectors
To wipe out abusive, deceptive and unfair debt collection practices undertaken by the collection agencies, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has ensured some guidelines for the debt collectors under the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act (FDCPA). These guidelines help you fight debt collection harassment efficiently. Check out the 10 rules that the debt collectors need to follow while collecting debts from you.
- Can’t ask to pay more than you owe:
According to the FDCPA, a collection agency can never misrepresent the debt amount or demand more amount than what you owe. [15 USC 1692e] § 807(2)(a).
- Can’t add additional fees:
A debt collection agency can never ask you to pay more than what was in the original loan arrangement (principal, interest rate or other fees). This is not allowed under the FDCPA. [15 USC 1692f] § 808(1).
- Can’t use obscene language:
A debt collector can’t make use of profane or obscene language while talking to a debtor. According to the FDCPA, using abusive language while collecting debt is illegal and is considered as debt collection harassment. [15 USC 1692d] § 806(2).
- A debt collector can’t call repeatedly:
If any debt collector calls repetitively, this is treated as harassment under the FDCPA. [15 USC 1692d] § 806(5). Again, a debt collector is not allowed to call you before 8:00 am or after 9:00 pm and on Sundays. [15 USC 1692c] § 805(a)(1). This law has specially been implemented to stop collection calls harassment.
- A debt collector can’t call you at your workplace: Under the FDCPA, a debt collector is not allowed to contact you at your workplace after knowing that you are not comfortable receiving such calls there. Again, unless the debt is past-due child support, a debt collector cannot reach out your employer for the same. [15 USC 1692c] § 805(a)(3).
- Can’t use violent activities:
If a debtor doesn’t pay the debt, a collector can’t make use of violence or other criminal measures to harm the person’s reputation, or his physical property. [15 USC 1692d] § 806(1).
- Can’t threat you to sue if it is not intended:
A collection agency can’t threaten to sue you, cease your property, garnish your wages, or spoil your credit score if it’s not intended to be taken. [15 USC 1692e] § 807(5).
- Can’t disclose your debt to a third party:
A debt collection agency can’t disclose your debts to any third party without your prior permission. However, there are some exceptions. It can be disclosed to the following persons:
- The creditor
- Your attorney
- The creditor’s attorney
- Your spouse
- A credit reporting agency
- Your parents (in case you’re a minor) [15 USC 1692c] § 805(b)
- Can’t avoid sending you a debt validation notice:
Within 5 days of the initial communication, a debt collection agency must send you a debt validation notice. This notice includes the debt amount, the name of the creditor to whom the debt is owed, and a statement that says that if the debtor doesn’t dispute the validity of the debt within 30 days, the debt will be assumed as valid. [15 USC 1692g] § 809(a).
- Can’t contact the debtor twice if receives "cease communication" notice: The debt collection agency can contact the debtor only once (via mail) after receiving "cease communication" notice to tell about any one of the following:
- Further attempts to collect the debt are being terminated.
- The collection agency is going to take certain legal actions. [15 USC 1692c] § 805(c)
How to Handle Harassment Collection Calls
Now when you know what the collection agencies can’t do to collect money from you, you might be feeling somewhat relaxed. But what if a collection agency goes on harassing you in spite of knowing the FDCPA and debt collection laws? How to find out ways to stop harassing collection calls in order to have a peace of mind. Go through the following lines to know what you can do to stop collection agency harassment:
- Record all the collection calls, including the ones you make.
- Make a note of the time, date, name of the representative with whom you speak, what is being said, and the name of the collection agency.
- Try to get a witness to the harassment. This might be a family member, friend or neighbor.
- Make use of an answer-phone so that you can screen the numbers from where you are getting calls.
- If the collection agency is not aware of your telephone number, then just dial 141 before making calls to them. This will help you keep back your number from them.
- Try to reach out your telephone service provider and see if they can provide you with the privilege to block specific phone numbers.
- If the collection agency makes every correspondence in writing, then keep copies of all those correspondence for future reference.