Under the present economic situation, it’s not really astonishing to see a lot of people crushed under the heavy weight of debt. If you’re one of them and facing problems in paying off your creditors, a debt consolidation loan may help you fix the situation effortlessly and quickly. However, if you fail to make your loan payments, your accounts may be handed over to a debt collection agency. This agency will then try to collect the money owed to a business or an individual.
These debt collection agencies often make harassing collection calls, and at times even make use of several tactics to recover debts from you. However, the FDCPA or Fair Debt Collection Practices Act sets regulations to defend consumers from harassment or unjust practices of debt collection agencies. These set of laws prevent debt collectors from frightening, verbally ill-treating or using unlawful means to collect debts from individuals. Indeed, a debt collector is restricted from contacting the debtor or any of his relatives by any means. The following points will illustrate understanding of FDCPA laws.
- A debt is described as the obligation of a person to pay cash arising due to a deal, in which cash, assets, indemnity, or services are for individual, family, or household requirements. Unpaid medical bills, student loans, and violated checks for a family’s food provide are debts. Due taxes, alimony, and municipal fines are not debts. However, the FDCPA doesn’t cover liabilities that a person incurred in order to run a business.
- The FDCPA sets restrictions on the kind and level of contact that a debt collection agency may have with a person.
- According to the FDCPA, debt collectors cannot contact debtors at awkward times (earlier than 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.), and inconvenient places, such as their office, if the debtor has asked the debt collection agency not to contact him or her at their place of work.
- It even places a limit on the contact that a debt collection agency can have with individuals in the debtor’s neighborhood. However, a debtor or debt collection agency is permitted to inquire other individuals of the debtor’s home address, home contact number, and place of work.
- A debt collector isn’t allowed to talk about a person’s debt with individuals except the debtor himself or his lawyer, unless they hold the debtor’s consent.
- In accordance with the FDCPA law, debt collectors must not be using any offensive or disrespectful language while contacting you. In addition, the collection agency can never threaten you of taking you into custody.
- Besides these, any attempt of contacting you via uncomfortable media such as symbol, post card, etc is strictly prohibited. While communicating with you, debt collectors need to reveal their real identity. If debt collection agencies are refusing to disclose their identity while making contact with you for debt collection, it’s an entirely illegal thing.
- At times, debt collectors introduce themselves as a law enforcement officer or an attorney. These practices are strictly prohibited by the FDCPA act.
In the last few years, debt collection agencies have come under the limelight for using social media platforms, such as Facebook, Google Plus, and Twitter accounts to collect information about the debtor’s activities and expenses. They have also made use of these social networking websites to contact the debtor’s friends, relatives, and even employers. If a debt collection agency goes against the FDCPA Laws, a judge holds the authority to place a $1,000 penalty for every violation. In circumstances that involve restrictive orders, judges ask debt collection agencies not to contact debtors or individuals in a debtor’s neighborhood or social circle.
Categories: Consumer Protection