Collection Agency Laws - What You Need To Know To Protect Yourself From Debt Collector Harassment

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Published: 13th August 2012
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You might find that, in these tough economic times, it is hard to keep up with the bills. Some families are just one medical emergency, death or lost job away from losing their homes or falling deeper into debt. You might be struggling to keep up with even the minimum payments and are in desperate need of debt relief. You may be facing 10 to 20 debt collection agency calls a day due to your debt problems.

When the debt collectors begin contacting you, you might begin to feel the stress overtaking your emotions. Debt collectors are no fun to deal with and despite the collection agency laws put in place, collectors will push their limits. It is up to you to know what they can and cannot do when trying to collect a debt you owe.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforces the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) in the United States. This act stops debt collectors from abusing and deceiving people who owe money to creditors. You will probably find that they continue to do so anyway. The FTC has determined that this covers personal and family debts, no matter if the money is owed for a credit card, car loan, medical bill or mortgage.

If you owe any debt, you have likely dealt with the constant phone calls. A debt collector is technically not allowed to contact you at times that are considered inconvenient; basically, this means they are not supposed to call you when you are likely to be sleeping, between nine in the evening and eight in the morning. Collection agencies are also not allowed to contact you at work if they do not have permission to do so.

One option you can take to learn more about collection agency law is to get an attorney. There is an added bonus; debt collectors must contact your attorney, not you. Other than that, debt collectors are not allowed to discuss the debt with others, though they are allowed to contact others to collect your contact information.

It is never okay for a debt collection agency to harass you. They cannot harass or abuse you or any third party they contact in order to reach you. This means they cannot threaten you with violence or publish your name. They can, however, report you to a credit agency. These agencies are not allowed to use profanity during your phone call or call you repeatedly. They cannot lie or claim to be attorneys.

It is also unlawful for an agency to claim you are committing a crime or to misrepresent the amount of money you owe. Agencies may not give you false information, send you documents that seem official but are not, or use false company names. One piece of advice is to get a phone call recorder so you can record the debt collection agency tactics.

Collection agencies can sue those who owe money, which might result in garnishing your paychecks. Certain federal benefits, including Social Security, cannot be garnished except in certain situations. Many collection agencies are bluffing when they threaten court, and they are not allowed to threaten court unless they intend to take action.

The remaining question ponders what can be done about collection agencies breaking the laws meant to protect consumers. Of course, simply because a law prohibits the collection agencies from acting in certain ways does not mean that they abide by the rules. So what can you do to prevent debtors from harassing and annoying you? Some people have been successful at suing the collection agency. Many people simply report the company to the Attorney General or FTC.

Though many companies do not abide by collection agency laws, there is some recourse that you can take. You might, however, benefit from consolidation through settlement of debt. You can negotiate and settle both personal and business debts and be free of debt collection calls once and for all.

Find the best online debt consolidation and settlement services through negotiation that might help your situation. To find out more information about our credit debt assistance and how it can help you, visit our site today.

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