While seeking credit repair and
obtaining creditor help, it's important to
know one's rights as a consumer.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
regulates the methods that
can be used by debt collectors.
A debt collector is anyone, other than the creditor,
who regularly collects debts for
others. A debt collector may contact you
in person, by mail, telephone or telegram.
This is where debt help can be
However, it can’t be at inconvenient times or places, such
as before 8 a.m. or after
A debt collector may not contact you at work if your
A debt collector may not contact you or a third party
if the collector knows that
you have retained an attorney.
You may stop a debt collector from calling you by
saying so in writing within 30
days after the first contact.
tell a debt collector not to call you, the debt collector can no longer do
so except, to tell you that there will be no further calls.
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Types of Debt Collection Practices That Are
A Debt Collector may NOT:
- Tell anyone that you owe money;
- Send or put anything on an envelope that
identifies the writer as a
- Use threats of violence to harm anyone or anyone’s
property or reputation;
- Falsely imply that the debt collector represents
the United States
government or any state government;
- Use any false name;
- Falsely imply that the debt collector is an
attorney or represent that papers
are legal forms, when they are not;
- Falsely imply that you committed any
- Falsely represent that the debt collector
operates or works for a credit bureau.
- Falsely give CREDIT INFORMATION about you to
A debt collector must be FAIR in attempting to
collect any debt. For example,
a debt collector CANNOT:
- Collect any amount greater than the amount of
your debt, unless allowed
- Deposit a postdated check before the date
- Make you accept collect calls or pay for
If the debt collector breaks the law, you have
the right to sue a debt collector in
a state or federal court within one
year from the date the law was violated.
You may recover money for the
damage you suffered.
For more information on The Fair Debt Collection
Practices Act you can
contact the Federal
Creditors are precluded by law from
certain behaviors and action when they
are trying to collect a
debt. Creditors may not:
Use profane or obscene language
or language that might ordinarily
abuse the listener,
Call you without telling you
the name of the company the caller
Call so much that it is
unreasonable or harassing under the
Call at times other than normal
Call your job after you tell
them not to,
Give any one information
relating to the debt without your permission,
Threaten physical harm, harm to
your reputation or your property,
Threaten to take you to court
and falsely accuse you of fraud or any
Threaten that failure to pay
will result in your arrest, attachment of
your property or garnishment
of your wages without proper court
Assess fees and other charges
they are not entitled to collect by
agreement or law.
What You Can Do
Even with the existence of all these
protections afforded by law, many creditors
persist in these and other
behaviors. One of the biggest problems with
bringing an action against the
creditor for violations like these is lack of evidence.
If you are
experiencing harassment of this type, make sure you do everything you
possibly can to document these activities. Have witnesses available, record
conversations, save messages left by creditors. Write down the days,
lengths of each call. Get the persons name, phone number, and
If they refuse, document it. If you have caller
ID, save it if possible.
Alternatives To Obtaining
Help With Creditors
One of the most popular and widely used programs
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Usually advised as a last resort, Bankruptcy for
many consumers may
be the only solution.
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everything about bankruptcy and if it's the right solution
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