Knowing Your Rights under the FDCPA

There is no question most collection agencies are ruthless in
their pursuit to collect a debt and will stop at nothing to get you
to make payment, including violating the law.  The law is
fairly straight forward and the reality is, if you think a
collector has acted in a manner inconsistent with the law, then you
are more than likely right.  Below is a top ten list of
conduct many consumers complain about that collection agencies are
prohibited from doing when contacting you to collect a debt and
compliance is necessary under the
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
(“FDCPA”).

  1. No repeated or continuous calls.  A debt collector cannot
    place repeated
    or continuous calls
    to you during the course of a day or a
    week. 
  2. No phone calls early in the morning or late in the
    evening.  A debt collector cannot call you before 8:00 a.m. or
    after 9:00 p.m. 
  3. No profane or abusive language.  A debt collector cannot
    use profane or abusive language when communicating with you in an
    effort to coerce you into paying a debt.
  4. No calls to your place of employment.  If a debt collector
    contacts you at your office and you request that the collector
    cease all communication
    at your workplace
    , the collector can no longer place calls to
    you there. 
  5. No communication with
    family, friends, co-workers or neighbors
    .  A debt
    collector cannot communicate with anyone other than you or your
    spouse regarding the debt outside of requesting location
    information about you.  If a debt collector speaks with anyone
    regarding your whereabouts, the collector is prohibited from
    discussing the debt or anything about the fact that you may owe a
    debt.
  6. Provide his or her identity including the name of the agency
    the collector is calling from.  A debt collector must always
    identity him or herself.  The collector must tell you his or
    her name and the name of the collection agency he or she is calling
    from. 
  7. Must cease all communication with you upon request.  If
    you request that no further communication be made, a debt collector
    must honor your request, outside of contacting you in relation to a
    lawsuit.
  8. Must not misrepresent the amount of the debt.  A debt
    collector must be up front and honest about the amount of the debt
    owed.  A collector cannot add interest or fees that are not
    allowed by the initial contract. 
  9. Must send written communication of the debt.  Within five
    days of the initial verbal communication, a debt collector must
    send a collection letter with the amount of the debt owed and the
    name of the original creditor.  Also included in this letter
    must be the statement that “This is an attempt to collect a debt”
    and notice that you have the right to dispute your debt within 30
    days of receipt of the letter.
  10. Must verify all disputed debts.  If a
    collector receives a dispute letter
    , the collector must cease
    all collection efforts and verify the validity of the debt at your
    request.

If you have a debt collector contacting you and feel any one of
your rights have been violated, contact
SmithMarco P.C. for a completely free
case review
.