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Fair Debt Collections Practice Act: Your Safeguard Against Creditors

The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, also known as the FDCPA, is the consumer’s best safeguard against the harassing pastime of collection agencies. This act was passed by Congress to outline just how collection companies are allowed to treat their clients and holds them responsible if these guidelines are broken. Collection agencies have no right to make harassing phone calls or act like a mobsters loan shark; as a consumer in the United States you have rights.

What are the limitations of creditors under the FDCPA?

  • Creditors are not allowed to call at inappropriate hours. They may only make calls to you between the hours of 8:00 AM and 9:00 PM in your time zone.
  • They are not allowed to call your workplace if your workplace does not allow personal phone calls. Creditors do not have the right to put your job in jeopardy.
  • They may not send deceptive letters to you that appear to be a court document or any other official document.
  • Using offensive or inappropriate language is absolutely forbidden; doing so may be considered harassment.
  • They must file documents in courts within your vicinity. They are not allowed to force you to travel to handle this ordeal
  • Absolutely no threats are permitted. They are not allowed to lead you to believe you will be arrested, or charged exorbitant interest rates you did not previously agree to.

What can I do if a Creditor breaks one of these rules?
Take action! You may owe these creditors money but they have absolutely no right to treat you like a villain. If any one or more of these rules are broken you should report the company and employee if you are able to get a name. You have the right to file a lawsuit against these companies and have the right to sue for damages related to these violations as well as an additional $1000.00, as well as lawyer and court fees if the court finds in your favor.

Who do I contact?
There are a few different agencies that you may contact. Start with the Attorney Generals office in your state. You may also have luck with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). There is also a newly formed Consumer Protection Bureau that has jurisdiction over these sorts of cases as well. 

 

There are a few different agencies that you may contact. Start with the Attorney Generals office in your state. You may also have luck with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). There is also a newly formed Consumer Protection Bureau that has jurisdiction over these sorts of cases as well.