Debt Collection Laws

A Brief Overview on Debt Collection Laws

Debt collection laws are the main regulators of the actions and practices that are undertaken by Debt Collection Agencies, Creditors, and other debt recovery agents. In order to ensure a fair debt collection procedure, the legal actions and pre-trial proceedings must comply with state and country laws. If the Debt Collection Agency (DCA) works locally, it has to comply with the laws of the country. If the DCA represents international debt collection, it must consider state law along with transnational EU rules, which will result in a fair and legal process for cross-border debt recovery.

Thanks to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, as this law sets down a specific set of rules that should be followed by third-party debt collectors while contacting customers about a debt that was sent to collections. The debts which are covered under this law include medical bills, credit card bills and auto loans.

To help you understand about debt collection laws and your debt collection rights, here are some essential guidelines that must be followed when a debt collector approaches you about unpaid debts.

Can a Debt Collector Contact You at Work?

In certain situations, debt collectors may likely to call you when you’re in office. But, if you ask them not to call, then they must stop. If suppose, a debt collector calls you at workplace and your boss picks up the call, it is not permissible for the debt collector to contact your office again until your boss grants them permission. Also, you can send them a written letter asking– not to contact you while you’re in office.  At this point, a debt collector will only call you to inform that your creditor is suing you or taking some other action against you.

At What Time, a Debt Collector Can Call You?

Debt collectors can contact you legally at a reasonable time which may vary according to state, but most commonly between 8 a.m. to 9.00 p.m. During these hours, if you are working and have not taken action to stop them, debt collectors will call you when you’re in office. Debt collectors can contact you legally via email, fax, mobile number or regular mail. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act does not specify any constraints on receiving text messages, as text messages did not exist at the time of the act passed in 1977.

Is A Debt Collector Allowed to Threaten You?

Debt collectors are not allowed to threaten you. Threatening you is regarded as harassment and is explicitly forbidden by the FTC explicitly. Furthermore, they can’t subject you to threats of violence. Also, they cannot try to seize the ownership of your property or arrest you. And they can not threaten to publish anything about your debt except to a credit reporting agency.

How Much Amount a Debt Collector Can Ask You to Pay?

In general, a debt collector can’t ask you more money than you owe. When you receive a written debt validation notice from the debt collector, the notice must include the particular amount that you’re owed. In legal terms, a debt collector is not entitled to say you owe more money.

If you believe that the amount of money you are required to pay is not the right amount, send a letter to the debt collection agency notifying it to verify within 30 days. Then the agency must check the debt in writing and can’t contact you again until it is done.

What to Do if a Debt Collector Breaks Debt Collection Laws?

If a debt collector violates any laws while approaching you about a debt, you should report that debt collector to your state attorney general’s office, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or the Federal Trade Commission. Most of the states have their own b2b debt collection laws, and a debt collector who violates the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act could also be in violation of state collection law. Furthermore, the state attorney general will inform you about additional local rights that you may have.

Hiring an Attorney

You are the one who needs to stand up for your debt collection rights. Don’t let a debt collector intimidate you with illegal tactics, or harass you. Dealing with a debt collector who has extensive knowledge of the debt collection rules can also be stressful. If you need help or advice please consider hiring an attorney.

As per your debt collection rights, the debt collection agency must contact your attorney who is hired by you. So if you’ve got an attorney handling the debt, you should tell the debt collector to communicate with him/her. You need not worry about the debt collector’s frequent calls until and unless your attorney grants them permission to call you again.

In general, there are certain legal restrictions on how debt collectors can deal with you and how they can protect you from misleading practices. To avoid unwanted calls and other types of interaction you can invoke those restrictions.

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