I've been getting abusive calls from collectors and want to know: "What are the rules of Fair Debt Collection?"
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), is the nation's consumer watchdog and enforces the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The FDCPA covers almost all debts, but doesn't cover debts incurred to run a business.
Can a collector contact me any time or place about my debts?
NO! A collector my not contact you before 8am or after 9pm. They may not contact you at work if they are told (verbally or in writing) that you're not allowed to get calls at your job.
I have told them to stop calling me both at work and home, but they ignore me. Is there anything I can do?
YES! The FDCPA states that after consumer has requested the collector to stop calling, in writing, the collector must stop or be in violation.
How do I do that?
You need to write a letter and mail it by certified mail. To learn exactly how to do this, click below:
Can a collector contact anyone else about my debts?
A collector may only contact other people to find out your address, phone number and where you work, and they may only do that once! They are not permitted to discuss your debt!
A collector was abusive and told me that if I didn't send them so much money by the end of the month I could go to jail!
First, no one goes to jail over an unpaid, unsecured debt! PERIOD! That type of language is not typical of collectors, but it does happens from time-to-time.
The FDCPA states that a collector MAY NOT:
- harass, opress, or abuse you or any third parties they contact.
- use threats of violence or harm.
- use obscene or profane language or
- Use the phone repeatedly (calling 10 times/day!) to annoy you
- falsely claim they are attorneys if they are not
- claim that you have committed a crime
- say that you could be or will be arrested if you don't pay
- say that they will seize, garnish, attache or sell your home or property if such action is prohibited by law (99% of the time it is!)
- send you anything like an official document from a court or government agency if it isn'ta government agency.