Recently ABC News did a report on a debt collector that violated federal law and ended up getting sued by a woman he was trying to collect against. The court awarded her $33,000 for violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Many people that fall behind on their bills believe that taking abuse from debt collectors is just a consequence of being in debt. While debt collectors can absolutely attempt to collect debts, there are very specific rules under federal law that they must follow. In this post I am going to provide you with 20 things that debt collectors are no allowed to do:
- Contact third parties and share information that a debt is owed.
- Use post cards as part of the debt collection.
- Contact the consumer after they know they are represented by an attorney.
- Contact a consumer at their place of employment when the collector knows that the employer prohibits such communications.
- Continue to contact a consumer after the consumer has sent written communication that contact is to cease.
- Any conduct that is meant to harass, oppress, or abuse any person.
- Any threat to use violence or other criminal means to harm the consumer or their property.
- Any use of false, deceptive, or misleading means to collect on a debt.
- Represent that they are affiliated with the United States, state, or local government.
- Threaten you with jail if you don’t pay your debt.
- Misrepresent that they are an attorney.
- Threaten to take any action that is not legally authorized.
- Fail to tell you they are attempting to collect a debt or that they are debt collectors.
- Attempt to collect any amount not authorized by an agreement.
- Accept or solicit a postdated check by more than 5 days without 3 business days written notice of intent to deposit.
- Fail to send a 30 day debt validation notice within 5 days of the initial communication.
- Fail to state the amount of the debt.
- Fail to state the name of the creditor to whom the debt is owed.
- Fail to state that you have the right to receive the name and address of the original creditor.
- Use any unfair or unconscionable means to collect or attempt to collect on a debt.
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John Skiba, Esq.
We offer a free consultation to discuss your debt problem and help you put together a game plan to eliminate your debt once and for all. Give us a call at (480) 420-4028