Collecting Debt is a Tough Business

Debt collectors can be very difficult to deal with. A debt collector (also known as debt collection company or debt collection agency) is a company that specializes in pursuing payment of debts from individuals and companies. They have managed to surpass this job description by also adding fear to the hearts of debtors with their aggressive tactics. However, they can be dealt with and you have rights.

One thing you should know is that they are restricted by the fair debt collection practices act. There are things they can and cannot do outlined in this legislation to ensure consumer protection. This article lists some of the things they can and cannot do so that you are well aware of your rights when dealing with them.

Let’s start with some things debt collectors cannot do

Harass you or anyone related to you

For consumer protection, debt collection companies cannot, under any circumstance harass you or anyone related to you either physically or on the phone. Harassment could mean incessant calls, using foul language, or threatening you. This is illegal under the fair debt collection practices act for a debt collection company to do any of the above to you or a relative.

Contact another person about your debt

Any form of contact made with another person concerning your debt, be it information published or shared to any other person about your debt is illegal under the fair debt collection practices act.

A debt collector can’t arrest you for debt

No matter how aggressive debt collectors may seem, they really cannot arrest you for debt.

Pursue you for debt you don’t owe

This is illegal, but it happens a lot. If you are not sure of a debt that collectors are pressuring you to pay, check your credit report to confirm.
What can collection companies do?

Put pressure on you

While the fair debt collection practices act may prohibit debt collectors from harassing you, they are allowed to put pressure on you. This could include calling you frequently or writing to you constantly. These forms of pressure are allowed, as long as they don’t violate consumer protection.

Sue you for debt

Debt collection agencies cannot arrest you directly for debt, but they can sue you for payment on a debt. If you don’t show up in court, you will lose by default and a court order will be issued against you. If you disobey this order still, the debt collector can pursue a warrant for your arrest.

Sell your debt

A debt collection agency is legally allowed to sell your debt either in full or in parts to another debt collector. So if you start getting calls from a new number regarding the same debt, know that it is within their rights to do so.

Pursue you for expired debt

You cannot be sued for expired debts. But, debt collectors can chase payments on these debts.

You should be aware of all your rights as a consumer so that no debt collector will infringe on them. Study, learn and exercise your rights.

Leave a Reply