Know Your Rights

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Debt Collectors and The Collection Letter

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act provides that debt collectors must be careful when acquiring location information about the consumer.  If you are having debt issues, be aware of your rights.  

Under the FDCPA, a debt collector can only contact a third party to obtain location information about the debtor.   The collector can not indicate, verbally or written, that he or she is trying to collect a debt or in the debt collection business.   Even when the collector is mailing you a letter, it must be careful of what they are mailing.   If the collector uses a letter or postcard to contact you, it is violating the FDCPA's prohibition of using any post card for communication.  Moreover, the collector can not use " any language or symbol on any envelope" or mail that indicates that the debt collector is in the debt collection business.   Therefore, when a debt collector sends you a letter and the envelope it is contained in states that the company sending the letter is a debt collector, or the company name has the term "Collectors" or "Collections" in it as it appears on the envelope, the mailing of that letter violates the FDCPA. 

Being stuck in financial troubles is not easy.  It is hard to answer the calls and talk with collectors about bills that you have no way of paying.    However, just because you can't pay your bills does not mean you do not have rights.  It is still important to protect your rights as a consumer.  Answer the calls.  Find out who is calling.  Keep a pad of paper by the phone and keep a log of the calls.  The collectors can not harass you, use obscene language, call repeatedly or lie to you.  If you have questions about whether your rights as consumer have been violated, contact SmithMarco, P.C., for a free case review.  SmithMarco, P.C., has over 30 years of combined experience practicing law protecting the rights of consumers around the country.

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