Fair Debt Collections Practices and Your Rights ̶ Part 2
In addition to the basic protections of establishing guidelines for when a collector can call you and the procedure you can use to prevent further contact, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act also sets some guidelines for what the collector can say during the conversation. This helps prevent some of the less ethical collection practices you may have experienced.
If you are getting tired of dealing with collectors and need to find a solution to you debt problems, we’re here to help. Call us at 1-800-320-9929 to speak with a certified credit counselor today or get started online with a request for a Free Debt Analysis.
Restricted Collections Practices
The following list provides some general restrictions for what collectors can and cannot say when they’re talking to you:
- Collectors cannot contact a third party (family member, friend, boss, co-worker, etc.) in an attempt to collect on your debt. However, they are permitted to contact any known associates if they cannot get in contact with you to confirm your contact information.
- Collectors can call you at your place of employment unless you’ve stated otherwise. In other words, you can prevent collections calls at your office by letting them know they aren’t allowed to call you at work.
- Collectors cannot use abusive or profane language.
- They cannot threaten violence or physical harm.
- They cannot threaten to have you arrested nor can they have you arrested without a court order.
- They cannot take your property in payment of the debt without a specific court order (e.g. a bankruptcy decree).
- Collectors also cannot collect any amount greater than what is owed on the debt – i.e. they cannot tax on extra penalties and interest not previously outlined in the terms of your contract.
- They cannot deposit postdated checks prior to the date indicated on the check.
- They cannot make you pay for collect calls or pay-on-delivery mail services.
- Collectors cannot make false or embellished statements on your credit reports in an attempt to punish you for a failure to pay. Credit penalties from non-payment on your debts are set and cannot be increased by the creditor.
- They cannot publish your name on any kind of credit blacklist that would prevent you from qualifying for credit in the future. No such blacklists exist.
- They cannot send you any communication meant to embarrass you into paying your debt – i.e. an envelope in your mail with big red warnings and symbols saying you haven’t paid. Graphics on mailed envelopes are restricted to the company logo.
What to Do If You Face Abusive Collections
Companies that violate the FDCPA may be reported to the FTC and CFPB through the organization websites. You are also permitted to sue the collector in the applicable state or federal court within one year from the date of the violation. If you believe you are facing abusive collections practices, make sure to take detailed notes about your experience. Ask for names of representatives you speak with, note the date and time, and give a brief description of any behavior you consider to be in violation of the FDCPA.
If you’d like to view the full text of the FDCPA, you can access it through the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act webpage provided in this section of our website. If you need to restrict calls from collectors or wish to prevent any further contact, you can use our Fair Debt Collection Sample Letter to help you get started.
If you’re facing collections now or may end up facing collections soon if you don’t get your debt under control, give us a call today at at 1-800-320-9929 to speak with a certified credit counselor. They can review your debts for free and offer customized advice on the best debt solution in your situation. You can also get started online with a request for a Free Debt Analysis.