Are you tired of debt collector calls? This is a common harassment faced by debtors. Debt is itself stressing and on top if debt collectors keep on chasing you, it is sure to turn down your senses. It is important for you to know that debt collectors cannot harass you as the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act has laid a national standard for collection agencies.
Rogue debt collectors are a pending problem across the nations such as in UK or US. Debt is sweeping nations. In UK, the Office of Fair Trading also has implemented certain guidelines for regulating the debt collectors. Whether you are into a UK debt management plan or an US debt management plan, the issue is always making your payments. The moment you miss one or skip one, these debt collectors are let out to recover money. Since debtors want to get debt free, so they resort to many debt management plans. When they fail to make their payments, these debt management companies start recovering debts with the help of debt collectors. At times, these debt collectors drive the hell out of you and keep on pursuing you or threat you with dire consequences.
To combat these odds, the federal Fair Debt collection Practices Act has certain guidelines that prohibit harassing or abusing debtors by breaking through their privacy. Check out these rules to know your rights as a debtor:
- A debt collector can call you but not before 8 am and after 9 pm. You need to inform the debt collectors when you would be available. For instance they cannot call you at your workplace since you are not allowed to receive calls during office hours.
- As FDCPA puts it, debt collectors must divulge the truth about them and avoid all false statements. A collector cannot pretend to be an attorney or a government official. A collector cannot confuse you with documents that are made to look like legal documents or threat you to be a criminal because you owe debts.
- It is true that a collection agency can file a lawsuit for recovering debts but they cannot use this to threaten you to collect debts.
- A debt collector is not permitted to use abusive or profane language while in conversation with you.
- Debt collectors are not allowed to inform others about your debts other than you or your attorney. They can only contact your friends or relatives to ask for your address or phone number.
- Debt collectors cannot ask for more than the debt amount.
- Once a debt collector has called you, within the next five days, he must send you a written notice mentioning about your debts and your creditors.
- It is a duty of debt collectors to verify all your disputed debts in writing before renewing collection calls. The collection can start only when you get a proof such as copy of a bill for the amount of debts that you owe.
There is no federal license or registration for these collection agencies to operate. However many states in the US require debt collectors to acquire a state license and some states even require them to be bonded. But they cannot cross their limit that has been set by FCDPA. If you find a breach of these rules by any debt collector, you should immediately report it your state attorney general office or the Federal Trade Commission. If in the process of getting debt free, you have fallen a prey to these debt collectors, you can contact your state attorney can help you out with your rights as well. You will get detailed information on consumer protection agencies as well as state attorney general offices at the www.consumeraction.gov/state.shtml.
You may file a complaint with the FCC by:
Telephone: Voice (888) CALL-FCC, or (888-225-5322)
TTY (888) TELL-FCC, of (888-835-5322)
Federal Communications Commission
Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau
Consumer Inquiries and Complaint Division
445 12th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20554
Debbie Brown is a financial writer and offers free advice to get out of debt. Read more at Free Debt Advice, Articles and Tips to Become Debt Free.