If you get behind on debts in Towson, Maryland, you may get contacted by creditors, which only adds to the stress. While some creditors are reasonable, others will keep harassing you. However, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act outlines rules all collectors must follow when collecting a debt.
How to recognize collection scams
Under the FDCPA, debt collectors are required to identify themselves as debt collectors. The collector must state their name and the agency name and address. This includes upcoming changes to the FDCPA effective October 2021, which allows collectors to contact debtors on social media. If they send a friend request, they should inform you they are a collector.
They must state how much you owe and how you can dispute the charge. You should get a confirmation letter within five days after initial contact. If they don’t identify themselves or refuse to give this information, it could mean a scam.
Debt collectors who call outside the time limits between 9 pm and 8 am, threaten arrests, or threaten to tell family or friends are possible scammers. Other signs of a possible scam include asking for sensitive information or insisting on payments with money transfer cards or prepaid cards.
How to stop debt collector harassment
If a debtor keeps contacting you, there is debt collection harassment help for consumers. You may send a notice in writing for them to stop, and they must comply.
If you have filed bankruptcy, it activates the automatic stay, which prohibits further collection attempts. Ensure the creditor has gotten this notice and explain how it works. Keep a copy of the cease letter and save all communication including texts and emails with the agency.
Debt collectors cannot do anything they want, and consumers can sue collectors who break laws. If the collector won’t corporate, seek legal assistance and file a report with the state attorney general.