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The FDCPA Top 10

By now most consumers are aware of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA") and have a basic understanding of the fact that this law was created to protect consumers from the abusive tactics of collection agencies.  Abuse by collectors is on the rise and knowing the law beyond the fact that it exists will ensure you are never taken advantage of by a collector.  Below is a list of the top ten laws under the FDCPA that will ensure your protection.
   
1.         Collection agencies are prohibited from repeated or continuous contact.                                     Collection agencies cannot contact you multiple times per day.  Repeated contact is in violation of the law.  If you believe a collector is contacting you too often, make a list of the number of times per day he or she calls you.
 
2.        A collector is prohibited from using abusive or profane language
A collector cannot use abusive or profane language at any time.  A collector is required to speak to you with respect and if a collector says anything that is meant to harass or uses language that is disrespectful, he or she has violated the law. 
 
3.        Collection agencies are only allowed to contact you at convenient times
A collector is only allowed to contact you between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. unless you request to be contacted at a different time. 
 
4.        A collection agency is prohibited from contacting you at your place of employment after you request not to be contacted
A collector cannot contact you at work after you request not to receive calls.  You must put the collector on notice and prior to receiving notice the collector has a legal right to contact your during regular business hours.
 
5.        A collector must send written notice of the debt after the initial communication
If a collector contacts you first by phone, he or she must provide you with an additional collection letter within 5 days of the initial verbal communication and failure to do so is a violation of the law.
 
6.        A collector cannot demand you pay more than you actually owe
A collector cannot tack on extra fees or interest when collecting payment.  You are only required to pay what you owe, which may be significantly more than the amount of the original debt after interest and fees if they were part of the original agreement.
 
7.        A collector must provide you with written notice of your rights under the FDCPA
In its initial collection letter, a collector must provide you with notice of your right to dispute the debt and request validation within 30 days of receipt of the collection letter.
 
8.        A collector must provide validation of all disputed debts and cease collection activity
When you dispute a debt with a collection agency, it must provide proof of the debt before it continues collection activity.
 
9.        A debt collector must cease all verbal communication if requested
If you wish to no longer be contacted by a debt collector you may request a collector only contact you in writing….which means no more phone calls.  A collector must honor this request to comply with the law.
 
10.        A debt collector cannot contact your relatives, friends or neighbors in an effort to collect a debt
A debt collector is prohibited from contacting your relatives, friends or neighbors regarding your debt unless they are looking for location information.  Should a collector speak with someone, he or she must not disclose the fact that you owe a debt or disclose the name of the company he or she is calling from.
 
If you are being contact by a collection agency and feel its contact is in violation of the law you have rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.  To speak with a attorney for a completely free case review, contact SmithMarco P.C.,/a> 

   

 

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