When dealing with debt collectors, federal law gives you rights. All debtors/consumers should be treated with rights or respect. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq.) is a federal statute that protects the rights of consumers/debtors from debt collector harassment. If your rights are violated, you could be entitled to up to $1,000 in damages under the statute, and a debt collector would have to pay your attorney’s fees and costs.
Here are some things that debt collectors cannot do to you:
- They cannot demand that you pay more than you owe.
- They cannot try to charge you interest, a fee or another charge in addition to the amount that you owe, unless the original contract that created the debt or the law of the state that you lived in at the time the debt was created allowed the charge.
- They cannot deposit a post-dated check that you gave them early.
- They cannot make an unauthorized withdrawal on your bank account or credit card.
- They cannot contact you by postcard.
- They cannot talk to others whom you have not authorized them to, or who are not your spouse, about the debt.
- They cannot sue you on a debt that is past the time in your state allowing them to sue you (past the statute of limitations).
- They cannot threaten you with action.
- They cannot call before 8 in the morning or after 9 at night.
- They cannot curse or insult you.
- They cannot say the papers they send you are legal forms if they are not.
- They cannot make up consequences for not paying your debt, such as that you’ll be arrested for not paying your debt.
- They cannot state that your Social Security benefits, Supplemental Security Income, veterans’ benefits and many other federal benefits will be garnished for credit card or private student loan debt.
- They cannot call you at work if your employer does not allow it and the collector has already been told this.
- They cannot call you during times that you say are inconvenient for you.
- They cannot call you while you’re at a place that is inconvenient for you.
- They cannot call you after you notify them in writing to cease calling you.
- They cannot pretend to be a lawyer or government agency.
- They cannot keep calling you if you do not owe anything anymore and you have already told them this.
- They cannot keep calling you if you have already told them that they have the wrong person that they are trying to collect from.
- They cannot lie about anything.
And many more…
Your home state might also have its own special law to protect you from debt collection harassment, in addition to the FDCPA, and it might also allow you to get some additional damages from a debt collector for any harassment you might be receiving from the collector’s illegal conduct toward you.
Contact Us With Questions
Should a debt collector treat you in any of the above ways, please contact Rights Protection Law Group, PLLC, immediately. Call us at 844-893-1006 or use our online form. While your debt does not go away if you do indeed owe it, if a debt collector has violated your rights they would then owe you monetary damages and they also would have to pay your attorney’s fees and costs.