Fair Debt Collections Practices - How to Recognize and Stop Unfair Practices
The Fair Debt Collections act was passed in order to stop the abuse of the consumer by some debt collectors. Lines were drawn as to what a debt collector may say legally, where they may call and what information they may give to anyone (besides the person owing the debt) when calling. Now, the American public has the right to fair debt collection practices but in most cases have no idea what is unfair either. Protect your consumer rights by knowing and understanding what Fair Debt Collections practices are.
A debt collector may call anyone in order to gain information about your current contact information such as phone number, address, or employer. That is covered under the fair debt collections act and their right to attempt to legally collect a debt.
A debt collector may not state they are calling about a debt to anyone but the person owing the debt unless a person is designated such as a credit-counseling agency or attorney. They may not even imply they are calling about a debt. They may call one time but after that must stop unless they have some valid reason to believe that, this third party has new information. Constant calls to your great Aunt Sara whom you have not seen in 8 years are not allowed.
A debt collector may not imply or state they will take any action they are not under the law entitled to take. Examples might be threatening to publish your name as a debtor in the newspaper (unless it is a bankruptcy or foreclosure action where it is required). Threatening to tell your boss or humiliate you in any other fashion. Threatening to confiscate property, they are not legally entitled to confiscate.
A debt collector may not use obscene or abusive language when attempting to collect a debt. This applies to anyone they speak to in the attempt to collect this debt, foul language and name-calling are not allowed under fair debt collections act.
If you designate a time, place to call as off limits to the debt collector, such as at work, or do not call you during dinner from 6 - 7 pm the debt collector is bound to obey. If you tell them not to call you again about this debt, they are not to call however it is best to send this in written form to the debt collection agency to be sure.
Another essential fact to know is that if you do tell the debt collector to stop calling you concerning the debt under the fair debt collections act they must comply but the debt will still be there. Stopping the creditors calling will not relieve you of the debt or stop it affecting your credit.
If you are struggling with credit card debts you cannot manage then you do need help. The fair debt collections act gives you some relief but seeking professional advice can actually relieve you of the debt itself.