STEP 2: REVIEW YOUR RIGHTS
Do to the unfortunate economic conditions, debt and debt collection activity is very high. It is an additional misfortune that some debt collection agencies use tactics that are abusive, harassing, or violative of your rights – and the law. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was put in place to combat abusive debt collection activity by debt collection agencies (bill collectors). It does not matter if you owe a past due debt, if your rights have been violated, you can receive up to $1,000 under the FDCPA. You do not have to put up with telephone harassment or any other debt collection abuse. Review your rights, be informed, and get help in Step 3 if your rights have been violated!
COMMON VIOLATIONS OF THE ACT:
- Repeated excessive calls (including computerized automated calls) from a debt collector. It does not matter if they are just causing your phone to ring, leaving messages, or talking to you.
- Debt collectors can not inform most third parties that you owe a debt.
- Debt collectors must not call you before 8:00am or after 9:00pm.
- A debt collector must not fail to identify themselves when calling you or a third party about you.
- A debt collector is prohibited from engaging in any conduct a normal person would find to be harassing, oppressive, or abusive. This includes making of any type of threats (including threats to "garnish your wages"), cursing, harassing telephone calls, etc.
- A debt collector may not call your work after knowing or having reason to know that your employer has forbidden such calls.
- A debt collector may not continue to make collection efforts until after 30-days if you have demanded in writing that they provide proof of the debt and information on the original creditor.
- A debt collector can not send you something in the mail in which reference to a debt is printed on the outside of the envelope.
- A debt collector may not use any false representation or otherwise deceptive means to collect a debt or obtain information about you.
Note: There are limited exceptions to some of the debt collection
activity as provided above. Contact an FDCPA attorney (see Step
3) to determine whether a violation of the Act has occurred under
your particular circumstances.