Complaints about debt collectors are common. Consumers often feel they’ve been harassed by a creditor or debt collector. But consumers have rights when dealing with a debt collector. Here are some of them:
- A debt collector can’t call you at inconvenient times or places unless you agree to the calls. They also can’t contact you at work if you’ve told them either orally or in writing not to.
- If you don’t want a debt collector to contact you anymore you can tell them to stop but you need to do it in writing. Send a letter by certified mail saying you don’t want to be contacted again. The debt collector can still contact you after that only to say they will be taking some action, like filing a lawsuit. This letter won’t prevent the debt collector from filing a lawsuit or make the debt go away.
- Debt collectors can’t tell you you’ll be arrested if you don’t pay and they can’t say your property or wages will be seized or garnished if they don’t intend to actually take this action.
- Debt collectors can’t send you a postcard and they can’t send any document that looks like a court document or that it’s from a government agency if it really isn’t.
- A debt collector can’t contact a third party except for the limited purpose of finding out your address, your home phone number and where you work. If the debt collector already knows this information then they shouldn’t contact anyone other than you or your spouse. The debt collector can’t contact a third party to get this limited information more than once.
- Debt collectors are required to send you a written notice within five days of their first contact with you notifying you of your right to request validation of the debt. That request for validation has to be sent within 30 days of your receipt of the letter. The debt collector can’t contact you again until after that validation has been provided to you.
- Debt collectors can’t call you repeatedly to annoy you or use obscene language.
- Debt collectors can’t falsely claim you’ve committed a crime or falsely claim they are with law enforcement.
Violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act have to be brought within one year of the violation so if you feel your rights have been violated contact us immediately. We take these fair debt collection cases on a contingency fee basis where we only get paid if we win the lawsuit.