Fair Debt Collection Act
- February 10, 2016
- By: Greenpath Financial Wellness
The Fair Debt Collection Act controls the way debt collectors can behave in trying to get payments.
Debt collectors can only contact you at a reasonable hour. They can’t bother you at work if you aren’t allowed to take personal calls.
Asking Collectors to Stop Calling
If you decide you don’t want to hear from a debt collector anymore, you can tell them in writing to stop contacting you. Make a copy of your letter. Send the original by certified mail. Pay for a return receipt so you’ll receive written proof that the collector received the letter. But remember that this doesn’t change the debt. It just makes it so they won’t continue contacting you about it.
Collectors must send you a written validation notice. This tells you how much you owe, and who the creditor is. It also includes information about what to do if you don’t believe you owe the money.
Debt collectors may not harass you. Collectors may not threaten you with violence. They can’t try to publicly shame you for not paying your debts. Using obscene language is also prohibited.
Debt collectors may not lie when they are trying to collect a debt. They can’t pretend to be someone they’re not. They can’t make up stories about what will happen to you if you don’t pay.
Collectors may not use unfair method when collecting a debt. For example, they may not try to collect any interest, fee or other charges on top of the amount you owe unless state law or the contract that created your debt allows this.
Your Right to Sue
If you believe a debt collector has broken the law in trying to get you to make payments, you have the right to sue. You may be awarded damages if the court finds the collector violated the law.
Report any problems you have with a debt collector to your state Attorney General’s office and/or the Federal Trade Commission.
We are Caring, Compassionate and Nonjudgmental
It may be helpful to talk to a financial counselor about your options. Your call will be answered by a caring, compassionate expert who understands that financial hardships happen to good people. We will treat you with care and respect. We’re committed to your success in becoming debt-free.