The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, also known as the FDCPA, prohibits debt collectors from using abusive, unfair or deceptive practices. What types of debts are covered? Andy Crouppen, of Brown & Crouppen, is here to break it down for us.
Andy starts by explaining that the debts covered are generally household debts. This would include things like credit cards, medical bills, mortgages, etc. When a debt collector does approach you, there is a very strict set of guidelines they should be following. Andy says that not many actually adhere to these guidelines.
Most people do not know their rights when they are contacted by a debt collector. First, you cannot be called at work unless they have been explicitly been given permission to do so. You also cannot be contacted before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. A debt collector cannot call repeatedly or harass and threaten you. You also cannot be lied to regarding what will happen to your wages, say that you will be arrested, and the like.
Debt collectors themselves are not always certain of what they can and cannot do. If the training is not adequate, it can be hard to know where the line is.
Andy says that if you think someone is harassing you or a debt collector is doing things they should not be doing, find a Fair Debt Collection Act lawyer. You can also ask to no longer be called, and to only be contacted in writing from now on.