Debt Collectors Abuse of Power
Debt Collectors Calling You?
Are you being Abused by Debt Collectors?
In this one of the worst recessions since the Great Depression; it's a terrible feeling when you have to discontinue paying a bill that you had been paying in a timely manner. You may have tried to negotiate an alternative plan with the creditor and they may not have accepted your terms. This is can create a nightmare scenario that will lead to harassing phone calls and letters from Debt Collectors.
Job loss, illness, divorce or other extenuating circumstances may trigger a domino effect that ends with you having to appear in court after you have been sued by a creditor. However, before it gets to that point there are some actions you can take to prevent a judgement. The first thing you must understand are your rights under the laws.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation's consumer protection agency, enforces the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which prohibits debt collectors from using abusive, unfair, or deceptive practices to collect a debt from you.
Harassment is defined as debt collectors may not harass, oppress or abuse you or any third parties they contact concerning you. A debt collector may not;
- Use threats of violence of harm;
- Use abusive language obscenities or profanities
- Publish the names of people who do not pay their debts (exception is to the credit bureaus)
- repeatedly call to annoy someone.False statements.
A debt Collector my mislead or lie when they are trying to collect a debt owed. They may not;
- Falsely claim that you have committed a crime.
- Claim they are a government representative or an attorney
- claim they work/represent a credit bureau
- misrepresent the amount of debt you owe a creditor
- tell you the papers they are sending you are legal when they are not
- tell you the papers they are sending you aren't legal if they are.
Debt collectors may not say;
- they'll seize, garnish, attach or sell your property or wages unless they are allowed by law to take action and intend to do so or;
- legal action will be taken against or if taking action would be illegal or if they don't intend to take action.
A Debt Collector may not;
- use a false name
- give false info to others about you
- send you a document that looks like an official document from a court of government agency.
Bad and unfair practices;
deposit a post dated check early
take your property unless it can be done legally
contact by postcard
try to collect any interest, fee, or other charge on top of the amount you owe unless the contract that created your debt – or your state law – allows the charge;
You should ask debt collectors for a written notice detailing the debt within 5 days
of the initial contact, the notice must include the name of the creditor and how to proceed if you believe you don't owe money.
If you don't want a debt collector to continue to contact you send letter by certified mail with a return receipt to prove it was received.
Know your rights and avoid abuse! Consult an attorney if warranted.