If you slip behind on any of your bills, there could come a point in the future when you hear from a debt collector. This may start with a letter in the mail, but it could soon move to phone calls at some point.
As a consumer, you know that debt collectors have the right to contact you in an attempt to collect money. However, it’s important that you remember this: There are things that they are and are not allowed to do.
You need to know what is expected of debt collectors as part of the Fair Debt Collection Practices ACT (FDCPA). Enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), this states that debt collectors are not allowed to do any of the following:
- Call you in the morning before 8 a.m. or in the evening after 9 p.m.
- Contact them at work if you have made it verbally clear or in writing that your employer does not permit you to receive such phone calls
- Abuse or harass any other party they contact to discuss your debt
- Lie to you about the amount of money that is due
- Use any deceptive methods to collect the debt, such as claiming to be a police officer or saying that you will end up in prison if you don’t pay
You hope that you never hear from a debt collector, but if you do you should expect this person to act in a professional manner at all times. You should also expect that he or she understands the finer details of the FDCPA.
If you have been the victim of debt collector harassment, don’t hesitate to learn more about your legal rights. There is no reason why you should sit around and continue to be treated in an unjust manner.
Just because you have unpaid debt doesn’t mean you lose all your rights. The FDCPA is in place to protect you, but you’ll need to take action on your own if a debt collector is harassing you.