Dealing with bankruptcy is a stressful process, and with debt collectors nagging you again and again, it becomes even more nerve-racking and traumatic. Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was passed in order to keep the debt collectors at bay, and guard you from the unnecessary harassment. If you are being bullied by debt collectors then it’s high time you make use of your rights.
Debtors can opt for Fair Debt Collection Practices Act if they owe; household, family, and personal debts. It also includes debt on personal credit card, mortgage, medical receipt, and car loan. Debts that were acquired to accomplish a business are not a part of this act.
An individual can also limit the payments applicability to a specific debt when the collector tries to gather more than a single debt. The collector will then apply your debt payments to your selected debt. Similarly, if a debtor thinks they do not owe a particular debt, the collector cannot impose the payment to it.
What Debt Collectors Cannot Do
There are few guidelines that debt collectors need to follow as well. Below are the behaviors they are prohibited to carry out:
- Calling the debtor before 8 in the morning or after 9 at night without their permission.
- Calling at workplace even after being informed, in writing or orally, not to call as your boss does not permit attending to such calls.
- Contacting a third party for the purpose of extracting your personal and contact information; however they may not necessarily tell them about your debt.
- When speaking to a third party about the debtor, they either start mistreating or harassing them or the debtor.
- Stating false amount of money you are indebted to.
- Misleading you in order to collect their debt. These conducts may include:
- Impersonating to be an officer of law.
- False warnings of detaining.
- Misrepresenting themselves by a forged company name.
- Spreading wrong information about the debtors to individuals and companies including credit reporting company.
- Unlawfully intimidating to confiscate, sell, add, or garnish either your earnings or assets.
Debt Collector’s Law Violation and Reporting
If the debt collector violates the law, the debtor can sue them in court anytime within the period of a year from the law violation. The judge will make the collector pay for the damages they might have caused during the collection process which comprise of medical bills or wages, if the debtor wins and is able to prove those damages.
However, the collector has to pay up to $1,000 even if the debtor does not have proof of any kind. The lawyer’s and court’s fee can also be refunded, and the collector may get charged by a lawsuit by different groups of people for which they have to pay either up to $500,000 or 1% of the collector’s net worth, any amount which is lowest. Nevertheless the debt remains, which has to be paid back, even after the violation of FDCPA. Law violation or any other issues regarding debt collectors should be reported at state Attorney General’s Office, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the Federal Trade Commission.
Debt laws are there to protect you so you must know them and use them whenever the situation calls for it.
Introduction Fair Debt Collection Practices Act