For people with past due debts, collection agencies can be most annoying people on the planet. Collectors may be more than irritating, they are sometimes manipulative and threatening. If this sounds familiar, you should know that consumers have rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). These rights protect you against debt collector harassment. By knowing what collectors cannot do or say, you can protect yourself from abusive phone calls and letters.
What is Debt Collector Harassment?
- Using profane or threatening language: Collectors cannot use profane language when contacting you. They cannot threaten you with violence, or claim they will seize property or imprison you for debts.
- Misleading you with false information: If a debt collector calls you pretending to be law enforcement or an attorney, they are breaking the law. Debt collectors cannot send you fake legal documents, bills, or other paperwork. They cannot falsify the amount owed.
- Threaten to add fees or extra charges: Debt collectors cannot threaten you with extra fees or charges for nonpayment or late payments.
- Make unreasonable calls: Debt collectors cannot call before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m., and they are barred from calling an excessive number of times.
- Ignore requests to cease contact: Debt collectors must stop calling once you tell them to cease contact.
If a collection agency violates these rules, you have some options. You can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, the agency responsible for overseeing collection agencies. Be sure to include the name of the collection agency, and what times they have called. Document abusive or threatening language and include it in your complaint.
Depending on your situation, there are ways you can get rid of or reduce debts that are prompting collection agencies to call in the first place. Debt settlement or filing for bankruptcy might be the best way to get collectors off your back for good.
The Kansas City bankruptcy attorneys at The Sader Law Firm can help struggling debtors find salutations for managing debts.