It can be upsetting to deal with creditor harassment. You know that you owe a debt, but these people could call you almost nonstop throughout the day. When you try to explain your circumstances, you might have a rude caller threatening you or calling you names.
These behaviors are unacceptable. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act protects you against these actions and gives you options for pursing action against collections agencies or individuals who violate your rights.
What is the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act?
The FDCPA is there to make sure you are not threatened or harassed by debt collectors. The law prohibits debt collectors from threatening, inappropriately contacting and harassing you. It bans them from lying about you being arrested or jailed for being unable to pay, and it gives you options to fight back if you continue to be contacted when you don’t want to be.
The FDCPA applies to third-party debt collectors. These are outside collections agencies that may be hired to collect a bad debt.
What can’t collectors do?
Debt collectors are not allowed to threaten you, harass you or abuse you. They can’t call with an intention to annoy you. They can’t call family members or those you know except if they want to ask for an updated phone number or address to reach you. They are also not allowed to publish information about you not paying your debts.
Debt collectors can’t misrepresent a debt or make false statements. They can’t say they are someone else or engage in unfair practices to try to get more compensation for the debt than what you owe. Interestingly, debt collectors are also unable to garnish your wages or bank accounts unless they go to court, and you must be notified of that court date.
It is easy for debt collectors to mislead people, but you need to know your rights. If you think a debt collector is harassing you, remember that you can turn to the FDCPA to see if they are violating your rights. You may be able to make a case against the collections agency.