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Consumer Alert: Debt Collectors

Updated on September 22, 2013

Debt Collectors

With the economy the way it is, and more people falling behind on their bills, it seems like debt collectors (or those who call themselves so) are becoming more ruthless than ever.

I've heard stories from people who have been harassed; everything from threats to garnishing their wages to contacting their family and friends with their debt information. One debt collector even went so far as to threaten getting the consumer's children arrested. You may own a legitimate debt, but there are some debt collectors that follow unfair practices to collect their money.

Know your rights as a consumer.

Unscrupulous Practices

There are many fraudulent debt collectors and debt collector tactics. Beware of anyone who calls and wants your bank account number!! Do your research, check your facts. NEVER give out your banking information without first seeing written documentation/a contract of terms from the debt collector, and before you do give them your information, do RESEARCH them to make sure they are legitimate. NEVER give out your social security number!!

Know Your Rights

  • A debt collector may not contact you an unreasonable amount of times, this is considered harassment.
  • A debt collector may not use terms of violence against you or your property.
  • A debt collector may not use false statements, such as falsely implying that they are attorneys, that you have committed a crime, or misrepresent the amount of your debt.
  • A debt collector may not tell you that you will be arrested if you do not pay.

Protect Yourself

If you feel you are being harassed, you may file complaints about collections agencies may be filed either with the Attorney General's Office or with the Federal Trade Commission, Correspondence Branch, Washington, D.C. 20580.

Debt Collectors are Prohibited by Law from the Following Practices - Unfair Collection Practices - Beware

If your debt collector is following any of these practices, you can report them to your State Attorney's Office or the Federal Trade Commission.

  • They cannot threaten physical violence
  • They cannot threaten to take your property
  • They cannot publish lists of who owes money
  • They cannot call you before 8:00 am or after 9:00 pm
  • They cannot falsely imply that they are attorneys or work for the credit bureau

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Image at the top is the Monopoly Man. © The Parker Brothers

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    • profile image

      JoshK47 6 years ago

      Awesome advice!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Great bit of advice and very much needed. Thanks for sharing! :)

    • profile image

      VoodooRULEs 6 years ago

      This information is important! It's so wonderful of you to help get the message out! Great work!