What Are My Rights Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?
If you are a debtor, you may be experiencing harassment by collection agents. While debt collection agencies are allowed to contact you about your debt, there are many things they are not allowed to do under the law. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the nation’s consumer protection agency. It enforces the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) across the US. This special act prohibits debt collectors from using unfair, abusive or deceptive practices to collect money from debtors. This act covers family, personal and household debts such as credit cards, medical bills and mortgages and ensures that debt collectors act fairly. Under the act, collectors are allowed to call debtors between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. If they call at any other time, they are breaking the law. The collector is also not allowed to contact you at work if you tell him or her in writing that you do not take calls there. Collectors can contact you via phone, email, text or letter. They must disclose that they are debt collectors. If they pretend to be anyone else, including a government agency, they are breaking the law. They are not allowed to use threatening language, nor can they harass you.
What Do I Do If a Debt Collector Violates the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?
If a debt collector has done any of the following, it is imperative that you call your attorney immediately:
- Used threats of violence
- Published your name as refusing to pay your debt
- Used profane language
- Repeatedly called you after you wrote for them to stop
- Falsely identified themselves as someone other than a collection agent
- Misrepresented the amount you owe
- Said you would be arrested if you did not pay
- Tried to collect interest, fees or other charge without proper permission
If your rights have been violated, you can sue the collector in a state or federal court within one year from the date the law was violated. If you are able to win your case, the judge can require the collector to pay you compensation for damages that resulted from their actions. If you are a debtor who is being constantly harassed by collection agencies, speak with the skilled legal team at the Oswalt Law Group in Phoenix. We understand bankruptcy and collection law and can help you take the right steps towards a debt-free future.