Many consumers fall into debt at one point in the time of their lives and the next thing they know is a debt collector comes calling. With common consumer debt, as opposed to business debt, consumers are provided certain protections against aggressive debt collection techniques. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was designed to combat the abusive or harassing debt collection practices.
Here is a brief overview of a Consumer Debtor’s Rights are as follows: (violations of these rights may entitle you to a claim against your creditor)
1) When can the Creditor Call? the creditor cannot call after 9 p.m. or before 8 a.m.
2) Call Volume Creditors, these creditors use robots to call debtors and can call many times a day. If your creditor is calling more than twice a day, you may have a claim for harassment.
3) How to Stop the Calls? the Consumer Debtor can call or write a letter to the creditor that any phone calls or any other communication must STOP, anything other than legal proceeding communications.
4) Privacy- the debt collector is not allowed to disclose your debt, or the reason why they are calling to anyone other than your Spouse. Your debt is your business, and Creditors may slip up and disclose private information to your co-workers or friends. If a creditor calls and reaches someone other than you or your spouse, they are only allowed to ask how to get in contact with you. They are prohibited from disclosing the nature of the call to anyone other than yourself and spouse.
5) False or Misleading Statements- The collections agent is forbidden from making any false or misleading statements to the debtor. This happens sometimes when the collections agent threatens to do things which they have no right or ability to do, such as; file a lawsuit when they are not a licensed attorney in the proper jurisdiction, garnish wages when there hasn’t even been a judgment against the debtor, the collector must have the intent to file suit before they can threaten it.
Violations of the FDCPA may entitle you to damages for these incidents. If something doesn’t seem right, and you feel like you are being pushed around it is best to contact an attorney to discuss your case and potential remedies.