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Legal and illegal debt collections actions

You probably expected that you would have the money to pay your debts when they were due, but sometimes, life throws unexpected curveballs that can prevent you from staying current.

In these cases, you may encounter debt collectors. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act governs legal debt collection practices. This is what you should know.

Debt collection contact

Did you know that debt collectors cannot legally contact you whenever and wherever they want? They cannot call you at work or via text message, email or social media if you ask them to stop, which means they can contact you these ways if you do not tell them to stop. In addition, all their calls must occur between eight in the morning and nine at night. Within a seven-day period, you should never receive more than seven calls from the same debt collector.

You can stop contact by mailing a cease-and-desist letter to the debt collection company. Keep a copy of the letter and send it certified and “return receipt” so you know the company received it. In addition, these companies do not have a legal right to tell anyone else about your debt.

The information they share

During their initial contact, debt collectors need to tell you their names, addresses, your rights, the name of the company you owe money to and how much you owe. The company should also tell you how to contact the original creditor and give you 30 days to validate that the debt is yours.

Violations of the law

No debt collector can threaten you. They cannot abuse you either, so they should avoid profanity or other obscene language. They are not allowed to lie to you.

When a debt collector contacts you, you should also expect fair treatment.