The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was meant to give protection against unfair or abusive treatment from creditors. This article presents the most common unfair practices that consumers encounter. If you have encountered any of these situations from your creditor, you have the right to report the violation to your State Attorney General’s office and to the Federal Trade Commission (ftc.gov).
Calling at the wrong hour. The FDCPA clearly states that a creditor must not collect debts through telephone during inconvenient hours. A creditor must never call before 8 am or after 9 pm, unless the borrower has given the consent to call during those hours. In you are being contacted by your creditor beyond the allowed time frame you can report it to the FTC.
Continuous attempt to collect debts even after your request to stop. Under the law, a borrower can send a letter of request to the creditor to stop debt collection. Upon receiving your request, the creditor must cease all its attempts to contact you. Nevertheless, this provision does not exempt the borrower from his/her responsibilities to pay back debts.
Contacting a third party regarding your debts. Creditors must never try to collect debts through a third party such as a relative or friend nor can details of your debts be shared.
Contacting you in your work place. A creditor must not collect debts from a borrower by calling at the work place.
Contacting you directly when you are represented by a lawyer. If you hired an attorney to represent you, the creditor must not contact you directly, only through your attorney.
Using threats, obscene or foul languages. Creditors should treat borrowers with respect regardless of the amount of debt they owe. Creditors must not use threats or abusive language to force a borrower to send payment. Such conduct is a grave violation of your consumer rights.
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Publishing your name in a list of people with bad debt. Creditors must never publicize details of your debts in print or in other form of media.
Using misleading statements to force you to pay. A creditor must never use misleading statements or lies to force payment. For instance, threatening that your property will be confiscated is against the law. If your creditor makes such claims, you can check the correctness of the information, and if found false, report it to the FTC.