More Americans are in debt now than ever before, and there is no sign of that trend slowing. Despite owing money to a lender, you still have rights and protections guaranteed to you by law. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a law that protects you from harassment, threats, and abuse from a debt collector. It also governs how and when a collector may contact you. Lastly, it can allow you to force the collectors to leave you alone.
The FDCPA applies to all companies that regularly collect most consumer debts, but does not cover business debts. Debt collectors often try to employ coercive tactics to get lenders to pay back their debts. This may include making you feel guilty, setting up a repayment plan, or encouraging you to seek other loans to pay off this debt. None of this may be in your best interest, but it’s also not illegal. However, a debt collector may not threaten you or intentionally mislead you. The following are just some examples of unlawful debt collector behavior:
- Threatening you with imprisonment
- Threatening to garnish protected income
- Threatening to repossess certain personal property
- Threatening to slander you to credit companies
- Threatening to harm you physically
- Use of profanity
- Misleading you about the amount of money you owe
- Falsely impersonating an attorney
- Harassing or threatening friends and family
- Continuing to call you after you have sent a cease letter
- Contacting you outside of established contact hours
- Contacting you after you have hired an attorney
You have the right to learn more about your debt, how much you owe, and who you owe it to. You also have the right to dispute your debt with your creditor. You do not have to negotiate with debt collectors. They are only interested in recovering your debt, not providing you satisfaction.
If you have been harassed, threatened, or misled by a debt collector, you don’t have to take it. Work with an experienced attorney to verify your debt with your creditor and put an end to greedy debt collectors. Contact Attorney Joe Luce for a consultation at (972) 562-9700.