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The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was designed to protect debtors against harassment by collection agencies and from creditor abuse. The laws that constitute the FDCPA spell out exactly what collection agents may and may not do. If you are being called incessantly, spoken to rudely or subjected to other abusive collection tactics, you should take legal action without hesitation. An attorney who is knowledgeable in U.S. laws will be able to tell you exactly how the FDCPA can protect you against excessive harassment. You should not have to suffer the indignities involved in creditor abuse and overly aggressive collection practices. Under the FDCPA a wide number of excessive collection practices have been prohibited.

Illegal practices covered under the FDCPA include calling late at night or early in the morning, speaking rudely, claiming the collection agent is a lawyer when they are not, making threats to sue or put you in jail, talking to your neighbors, co-workers or boss about your debt situation or posting a notice anywhere as to your failures to pay. Furthermore, once you notify a collection agency or creditor that you have an attorney, they must communicate through the attorney. Failure to do so will result in a significant fine. If you write the creditor or collection agency that you no longer wish to speak to them, they must also stop communication unless they need to provide important new information.

What does the FDCPA prohibit, exactly?

Under the FDCPA, debt collectors "may not use unfair of unconscionable means to collect or attempt to collect any debt." For instance, creditors may not collect any amount of money not expressly authorized by the debt agreement. If a collector attempts to collect an amount outside of the debt agreement, he/she is operating outside of the law and violating the FDCPA. Creditors may not deposit or threaten to deposit a postdated check. This is illegal. The FDCPA also prohibits creditors from depositing other types of postdated payment.

Under the FDCPA, debt collectors are not allowed to represent themselves falsely. For instance, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) specifically prohibits creditors from impersonating legal professionals (attorneys, etc.). Additionally, debt collectors are not allowed to imply that they are an attorney or lead debtors to believe that they are representing a lawyer when they are not. Debt collectors are never allowed to lie about the amount or legal status of the debt.

The FTC also prohibits creditors from making any legal threat. For instance, a debt collector is not allowed to say "You'll be arrested if you don't pay now," or, "You'll go to jail for this." These threats are only legal if they imply lawful actions and the creditor actually intends on implementing them. In short, the FDCPA states that debt collectors are not allowed to "threat to take any action that cannot legal be taken or that is not intended to be taken."

FTC has a specific set of guidelines related to creditor abuse and harassment. These guidelines are in place to protect debtors' rights and state that "a debt collector may not engage in any conduct the natural consequence of which is to harass, oppress, or abuse any person in connection with the collection of a debt." This means that debt collectors cannot:

  • Threaten debtors with violence
  • Threaten to damage debtors' property or reputation
  • Use obscene language
  • Coerce payment in any way
  • Call debtors repeatedly to annoy them

Have you been harassed by a creditor?

Collection agencies and abusive creditors can make life miserable. If you can't take it anymore and you would like legal assistance to stop the abuse, you should talk to an attorney from Price Law Group. The firm is a nationwide bankruptcy firm dedicated to defending clients against creditor harassment. When a client contacts Price Law Group, an attorney take immediate action to stop the abuse. The legal team will contact your creditor or collection agency and confront them for violating the FDCPA. The firm will insist they halt any contact with the individual involved, and direct any future communications to your attorney. You can rest assured that the firm will never back down from suing your creditor for overstepping the guidelines set forth in the FDCPA.

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