4 things to know about debt collector calls

Debt collectors have a difficult job, but they must still follow certain laws when they’re trying to collect money. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act governs what they can do. For example, they can’t threaten you with arrest for not paying your debt.

The FDCPA also covers when and where debt collectors can call you and what they can say when they call you.

#1: Where they can call

They can call your home, cell or work phone unless you tell them not to. The notification that they can’t call you at certain numbers must be made in writing unless you instruct them verbally to stop calling you at work. They’re allowed one more call after the written notification to let you know what they plan to do next.

#2: When they can call

Debt collectors can call between 8:00 in the morning and 9:00 at night, but they aren’t allowed to call you when they know it would be inconvenient. While there’s no specific guidelines that say when this is, but they must honor you if you tell them that they’re calling at an inconvenient time. You should let them know when it’s convenient to call. The FDCPA also states they can’t call you repeatedly to annoy you, but there’s not a limit to the number of calls they can make.

#3: What they can say

Debt collectors must tell you that they’re collecting a debt. They must also let you know that the information gathered will be used for that purpose. This must be done at the start of the call.

#4: Whom they can talk to

They can only discuss your debt with you. They can contact your family members and friends; however, they can’t reveal that they’re debt collectors or discuss your debt with them. These calls must focus on getting information about you.

Consumers have legal rights that debt collectors mustn’t violate. If debt collectors violate your rights, you can take legal action. Working with someone familiar with these matters is beneficial because you can draw from their knowledge of the laws to make your determination about how to proceed.

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