Protecting yourself against debt collectors

Debt collectors are allowed to contact debtors, but there are limitations on frequency and type of contact. They cannot leave intimidating or threatening messages on other people’s phones or email accounts. There is a federal law designed to stop debt collectors in Minnesota from using unfair methods while you struggle to get out of debt.

How unfair debt collections are prevented

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a law that was enacted in 1977 and amended numerous times afterward to protect debtors from excessive, unnecessary collection practices. Creditors are prevented from using abusive methods to collect debts from their clients. Clients are given the legal right to sue companies that violate the terms set under the law. FDCPA is enforced alongside the Fair Credit Reporting Act that works to maintain the accuracy of consumer credit reports.

Penalties for violating consumer protection laws

Consumers can file a lawsuit in a state or federal court if they show proof of being harassed by debt collectors. They can receive compensation for various types of damages, such as increased phone bills or emotional distress. However, it’s not necessary to prove actual damages to receive an award of up to $1,000, including legal fees and court costs.

When the law is the only option

Most debtors are hassled by debt collectors at some point or another. But they may not know if their collectors have crossed the line or if they have acted within acceptable industry standards. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) outlines the types of actions that are acceptable for collecting debts. Consumers are encouraged never to take matters into their own hands and to see how they can work with the court system.