Debt Collections & Your Rights
If you are being harassed by bill collectors, you have rights.
Federal Fair Debt Collection Practice Act (FDCPA)
The FDCPA bans all forms of “unfair, abusive and deceptive practices by collectors. Some debt collectors will try to illegally pile on more fees in order to make the debt seem larger or use other methods to create pressure on the consumer into paying their debts. The FDCPA gives you the following rights:
- You have the right to tell the collector stop all communication. This can be done through a letter or through a notice, telling the collector that you do not plan to pay your debt.
- You can ask for proof that you owe money. If you request justification within 30 days of receiving your notice, the collector is required to prove that you owe money or stop all efforts to collect the money.
The FDCPA also places the following restrictions on debt collectors (Click here for the full text):
- They must contact you only between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.
- They may not contact you at work without your approval.
- They must identify themselves on the phone.
If debt collector has abused your rights:
- Gather and organize all the information you can about the debt, including copies of your credit reports and correspondence with the collector.
- Get a testimony or statement from any witnesses who can confirm that you were abused.