Odds are you’ve been contacted by a debt collector at some point. Even if it wasn’t your debt, maybe they called you about your ne’er-do-well brother, cousin, or ex-boyfriend. You know that debt collector is just doing his or her job, but it’s really frustrating!
Well, sometimes it’s not just frustrating it’s illegal. There are a host of consumer protection laws, on both the state and federal levels, which protect consumers from unfair debt collection practices. The Federal Trade Commission has some great information about federal laws. Specifically you can find a user friendly guide to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, as well as the entire text of the Act.
A few of the highlights include:
- Debt Collectors should not call you before 8 am or after 9 pm without your permission
- Debt Collectors cannot use any violence of threats of violence
- Debt Collectors cannot use profanity
- Debt Collectors cannot continuously phone you in a manner intended to harass, abuse, or annoy
- Debt Collectors must disclose their identity in a meaningful way
This list barely scrapes the surface of the protections of the Act, and if you feel you’re being harassed, you should definitely familiarize yourself with the full text, including your remedies. You should also investigate the protections your state offers.
Remember folks, at the end of the day there’s no substitute for having a lawyer of your own.
And as always, our blog postings are not legal advice, nor do they constitute an attorney-client relationship!