There’s no doubt that millions of people are struggling right now financially and have found themselves overcome with debt problems. The only thing that makes matters worse are constant debt collection calls…
Unfortunately, some of these collection companies can be very rude and unsettling. Some use intimidation and fear tactics to collect debts without regard to a debtors personal situation or circumstances. If you feel you are being mis-treated by collectors to the point of mental distress you should know your rights against unfair and abusive practices.
First off, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has instituted laws to protect consumers against companies who engage in abusive practices. They also investigate reports made against these companies and enforce the laws enacted by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Unfortunately, many collection agencies know that they can easily break these laws because it is up to the consumer to report abuse.
To protect yourself it is good to know the basics of this Act so it can be pointed out to the debt collectors who are crossing the line into abusive practices. Let’s take a look at some of your rights according to the law…
1) Collection agencies cannot call before 8:00 am or after 9:00 pm.
2) They cannot text, email, or use social media websites to contact consumers.
3) They cannot misrepresent that they are the creditor, an attorney or any other entity that hides the fact that they are a third party collector.
4) They cannot use deceit, threats or abusive language when collecting a debt.
The FTC urges you to contact and report any violators.
It is a good idea to inform an abusive collector that you are aware of your rights according to the Fair Debt Collection Act. When you do, confirm the violation over the phone with them, get their full name, company name, address and phone number. Be very polite when you do this and inform them that you will report the violations to the FTC unless they cease and desist. This will usually stop blatant abuse.
You can also stop collection agencies from calling you at your place of business and cell phone. You will need to call them directly and tell them to cease and desist. If they ignore a verbal request you can send them a cease and desist letter by certified mail. In the letter you should request to receive all correspondence from them by postal mail.
If your debt situation has escalated to judgements and potential wage garnishment action you should consider filing bankruptcy. Doing this will stop all debt collection activity.