Know Your Rights

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Are You Tired of Bill Collectors?

As American consumers, you have rights.  The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is a Federal law passed to protect debtors from harassing, abusive or unethical bill recovery efforts.   In other words, if you are being harassed in any way, you can sue the collector and recovery up to $1000 for violations.  One consumer in Nebraska decided to turn the tables on collectors and was happy with the results.  Read about him.

What are some violations? 

  • Failure to properly identify themselves.  The collectors must identify who they are and advise the consumer at each and every communication that the communication is coming from a debt collector.  In the first communication, the collector must also inform the consumer that any information obtained will be used for purposes of debt collection.
  • Calling at work after you tell the collector you can not receive calls at work.   You must tell them you can not accept calls at work.
  • Threatening to arrest you or file criminal charges.  You can not be arrested or charged with a crime for failing to pay a debt.  This is false, misleading and deceptive.
  • Calling your friends, family or work and discussing your debt.
  • Call before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. or at any time or that they are given notice that it is inconvenient to call
  • Using profanities or language that is harassing and abusive
  • Engage in any conduct, the natural consequence of which is to harass, abuse or oppress.
  • Make any misrepresentations of fact, such as how much is owed, or certain actions they may take to force payment
  • Send false information to the credit bureaus.
  • Cause a telephone to ring an unreasonable amount of times.  You need to pick up these calls at some point and tell them to stop calling.  If they leave messages, save them.  Also, it is recommended to keep a log of the calls and/or take photos of the caller identification.

What if I do not have money to hire an attorney?

  • Call or contact our website for a free consultation. You will not have to pay any out of pocket costs to pursue your case.  The statute provides that if you win, then the defendant has to pay the attorneys' fees.  If you hire the right firm, they will waive the fees if you lose.  That is the way to help consumers. 
  • SmithMarco has been helping consumers since 2005.  Check out what other consumers say about this firm or contact us for a free consultation by calling or using our website

What can I do to stop these collectors?

  • Start keeping track of the calls.
  • Take photos of the caller identifications or screen shots.
  • Save all voicemail messages.
  • Save collection letters.
  • Call for a free consultation

Why should I take action?

Because you can!  You can stop the calls and stop the harassing.    Even if you can't resolve the debt, at least you can make steps toward making your life better.  Read about others


 

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