What Practices Are off Limit for Debt Collectors?
If you have ever been behind on paying your bills, you know what a hassle it is to deal with debt collectors. But did you know that there are strict statutes about what debt collectors can and cannot do? The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act(FCCPA) protect consumers from unfair collection practices. This blog explores some of the major practices debt collectors are prohibited from taking part in.
Debt collectors are prohibited from harassing, oppressing, or abusing a debtor. They are not allowed to use threats of violence or harm, repeatedly use the phone to irritate you, use profane language, or publish a list of names of people who refuse to pay their debts. If you think a debt collector is calling too often, make a record of each time they call and any messages they leave.
Provide False Statements
Debt collectors may not lie when they are trying to collect a debt. For example, they cannot falsely claim to be someone they are not (i.e. a lawyer, law enforcement officer, or government representative), falsely claim that you have committed a crime, or falsely claim they work for a credit reporting company. In addition, they cannot lie about the amount you owe or indicate that the papers they send you are legal forms if they are not. Debt collectors cannot claim that you will be arrested if you do not pay your debt.
Add Additional Collection Fees
Debt collectors may be allowed to charge interest on the debts they are collecting, but they can’t charge more than what the original contract states or what is permitted by law. They cannot attempt to collect more money than what you owe, but this doesn’t mean some won’t try to.
Contact You at Any Time or Place
A debt collector may not contact you at inconvenient times or places. For example, they cannot contact you before 8 A.M. and after 9 P.M., and they may not contact you at work if they’re told either orally or in writing that they are not allowed to. In addition, when they do contact you, they must disclose that they are debt collectors.
Disclose Information to Others
Debt collectors are prohibited from disclosing information affecting the debtor’s reputation to a person other than the debtor or their family. Under federal law, a debt collector can only contact other people to find out what your phone number is, where you live, and where you work. In general, they can’t contact people you know more than once or reveal that they are trying to collect a debt.
Fail to Send a Written Notice of the Debt
The law states that within five days of initially contacting you, the debt collector must send a written notice of the debt. It must include the amount of the debt, the name of the original creditor, and a statement explaining your right to dispute the debt.
Stop Debt Collection Harassment with Sweeney Law P.A.
Sweeney Law P.A. is committed to protecting you from debt collectors that violate your consumer rights. Our dedicated and experienced team provides our clients with the personalized attention and service they deserve. To stop debt collection harassment, request a consultation or call us today at (954) 951-8727.