Are You Being Harrased By Debt Collectors? A List Of Your Rights

Written by David Schmidt. Posted in Debt Collectors

Are debt collectors calling constantly bothering you at home or worse at work? Some of these collectors are extremely agressive and will stop at nothing to scare you or harass you into paying them. Most people do not know their rights and what the laws are which are there to protect you. Follow along here and I am going to advise you as to your legal rights and you can download the actual Fair Debt Collection Practices Act at the end of this article.

Debt collectors are ruthless and the most complained about industry on the Federal Trade Commissions website. As well the abuses and threats by aggressive collectors are appearing to be getting worse. These tactics they are using can cause terrible stress for consumers. As well, its imperative you know what rights you have.

The laws in regards to what debt collectors can do may be difficult to comprehend but we will break it down and give you  few key points of the law to teach you what you can do to protect yourself:

What Tactics Are Off Limits For Debt Collectors?

Harassment. Debt collectors may not harass, or abuse you or any family members they contact. Such as, they may not:

  • They cannot use verbal threats of violence or physical harm.
  • Post or publish a list of  people who have not paid their debts (they can only give this information to the credit reporting companies)
  • Repeatedly use the phone to harass a debtor or their family.

False statements. Debt collectors may not lie when they are trying to collect a debt. For example, they may not:

  • Claim they are attorneys.
  • Claim that you have committed a crime or that the police are coming for you.
  • State that they work for a credit reporting company.
  • Inflate the dollar amount that you may or may not owe.

Debt Collectors Also Are Prohibited From Stating That:

  • You will be arrested if you don’t pay your debt. There is no debtors prison and owing a debt is a civil matter not a criminal matter.
  • They will seize, garnish, attach, or sell your property or wages unless they are permitted by law to take the action and intend to do so.
  • Give out false credit information about you to anyone, including a credit reporting company.
  • Send you anything that looks like an official document from a court or government agency if it is not associated with such agency
  • Use a false company names to sound more threatening or legitimate.

Unfair practices. Debt collectors may not engage in unfair practices when they try to collect a debt. Such as, they may not:

  • Try to collect any interest, fee, or other charge on top of the amount you owe unless the contract that created your debt – or your state law – allows the charge.
  • Deposit a post-dated check early or try to tap your account for more money that you may or may not owe. Payday Lenders are notorious for doing this.
  • Take or threaten to take your property unless the matter has gone to court and the agency has a judgment against you.

Here is a copy you can download and read to gain a better understanding of your rights and debt collector’s responsibilities. Download Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

By printing out this information and knowing your rights you can protect yourself from Debt Collectors and their harassment.  If you feel you are being harrassed by overly aggresive debt collectors you can file a complaint  with the Federal Trade Commission at FTC Complaints or you can contact us with any questions on the contact us page. We want to help.

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