Your Consumer Credit Rights
Knowledge is power. Arm yourself with these facts and learn how harassing debt collections behavior from consumer agencies is illegal.
Your Legal Consumer Rights
The federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a United States statute enacted in 1978, seeks to eliminate abusive and harassing behaviors that debt and collection agencies often engage in. The FDCPA states specific practices and rules under which debt collectors can and can not operate, and offer specific penalties for agencies found breaking this law.
The following is a summary of your rights.
Collection agencies may not communicate with a debtor during an inconvenient time or place. The FDCPA states that only appropriate times to contact the debtor are between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. Additionally, the collection agency cannot communicate with anyone other than the debtor. If a debtor has legal representation, the collection agency cannot directly contact him or her directly.
Debt Collection Harassment
A debt collection agency is forbidden to harass a debtor. This includes threatening violence or any other criminal action that could harm the consumer's body, property, or reputation. In addition, agencies may not use offensive or crude language, or report a debtor to anyone other than credit bureaus or the court system.
When it comes to debt collection agencies, here's what we can protect you against:
- Repeated calls
- Abusive language and threats of legal action
- Contacting your neighbors, relatives, friends, coworkers, and employers
- Misrepresentation of the amount or status of a debt
- Disclosure of your default debts to third parties