Being in debt is hard and it’s made worse when the collection calls and letters won’t stop. For millions of people, this is the sad way people have to live. While it’s not against the law to go into debt or have bad credit, it is against the law to constantly be harassed and bullied by debt collectors. Those that are in debt have the right to feel safe while working through their financial problems.
The Federal Trade Commission and various states have created, approved and passed laws that are designed to protect consumers. These laws were created to stop brutal collection tactics that some collection companies have. People that are in debt should be aware of these laws and what they are entitled to.
Legal Protection from Debt Collectors
Everyone that owes money should take responsibility for their debts and pay them. While that is the responsible thing to do, there are times that people will have financial difficulties and will fall behind in their bills. Those times are difficult and shouldn’t be made more difficult because of harassing phone calls and letters.
· When a debt collector calls, there are certain rules that apply.
· Debt collectors can’t call a person before 8 AM or after 9 PM.
· Debt collectors can’t tell the details of their calls to anyone except you.
· Debt collectors can’t call a person’s workplace without permission.
· Debt collectors can’t impersonate law enforcement officials or threaten illegal actions against a debt holder.
· Debt collectors must identify themselves within 1 minute of the phone call and advise of legal rights before proceeding with the conversation.
· Debt collectors can’t mail information that indicates it’s a debt collection attempt on the outside of the letter.
· Debt collectors may not mislead their company or that it’s a debt collection attempt.
· Debt collectors may not mail imitation court documents or threaten illegal actions.
· Debt collectors may not make public private information (listing people on a “deadbeat list”).
· Debt collectors must stop communications when a requested.
· Debt collectors must send proof of the debt when requested within 30 days of the request.
· Debt collectors cannot publish or report false information.
There are many laws that protect consumers from the relentless phone calls of debt collection agencies. Those agencies that are in violation of those laws can be sued and held accountable for their actions.
Face the Problems and Find a Solution
Those that owe money should pay those debts. One of the best ways to prevent accounts from going to collections is to communicate with the company money is owed to immediately and work out payment plans. Many companies are willing to work with their customers instead of losing money by sending bad accounts to debt collection agencies.
Instead of ignoring the problems that come with being in debt, it’s best that people face their debts and mistakes. Often, it’s not as painful many assume that it would be. Make payment arrangements when possible as well as dispute fraudulent accounts. Acknowledging debt is the best way to get out of it.