If you have fallen behind on your debt obligations, then you most likely have been contacted by a debt collector. When it comes to consumer debts, third-party collectors are limited in what they can say to debtors. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) grants borrowers with consumer debts certain protections against aggressive debt collection tactics. Under the FDCPA, debt collectors are forbidden from:
- Making threats: Collectors cannot use threats of violence to collect debts. In addition, they cannot threaten your reputation. For example, it could be against the FDCPA if a collector threatened to have you fired for not making payments.
- Using obscene language: Debt collectors cannot use obscene or profane language when communicating with debtors.
- Making harassing calls: If a debt collector calls you at midnight multiple times a week, they are likely in violation of the FDCPA. Collectors cannot make phone calls with the intent to harass you or other debtors.
- Giving false information: If a debt collector claims you could be arrested for not making a payment, they are in violation of the FDCPA. Debt collectors cannot give false or misleading information. They cannot claim to be law enforcement or an attorney. In addition, a collector cannot misrepresent the amount you owe on debts.
- Ignoring requests to stop calling: If you tell a debt collector to stop calling your home or work and put it in writing, they must cease communication.
Third-party collectors cannot contact you once they become aware you are being represented by an attorney. At this point, future attempts to communicate must go through your attorney. Depending on the situation, debt collectors do have other tools they could utilize. For example, they could seek a judgment to garnish your wages.
Debt Collection Problems? Speak with Our Manalapan Bankruptcy Lawyers
If you are suffering from financial hardship caused by excessive debts, then you should speak with a bankruptcy attorney. Bankruptcy could temporarily halt most collection attempts. The Manalapan bankruptcy lawyers at Garland & Mason, L.L.C could help you determine the most effective options for debt relief.