I heard some disturbing news over the weekend, about how some collection agencies were trying to use scare tactics to get people to pay. When I heard this, I also realized that most of the people didn’t know about the FDCPA. Since knowledge is power, let me tell you a little bit about it.
The FDCPA, is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, it protects the consumer against collections agencies’ bad behavior. Third-party collectors can’t call you at work, (if you ask them to stop,) tell anyone else that you have debt, harass you by phone or use profanity. This is a civil matter not criminal, so they can’t threaten illegal punishment like jail, loss of child custody, deportation, or physical harm. They can’t call your home before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m., or call at all if you’ve made a written request for them to cease contact, or if you’ve hired an attorney. Some collection agencies will even go as far as to research specific assets so when they call it sounds much more personal and legitimate.
The bottom line is to know your rights as the consumer, there are lots of laws and regulations to protect you, and lots of people who will try to take advantage of you if you don’t know what you have in your corner. If you are being harassed by collectors, (illegal threats like jail time, deportation and physical violence,) you can report them to the Federal Trade Commission, or your state attorney general’s office.
Make this week great!!