Guidelines and Regulations Debt Collection Agencies Must Follow

When Can Collection Agencies Call Me?

The collection agencies are allowed to contact the debtor via mail, fax, phone or telegram between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. But the debtor can refuse to respond to phone calls at certain places, such as work. The debtor may request for the contact to stop at which time the collection agency must refrain. Credit.com urges a written request be sent to the collection agency to cease the phone calls.

Can Collections Agencies Contact My Neighbors?

If the individual in question has an attorney to represent him or her then the collection agency must contact the attorney instead of the debtor himself. Third party such as family member, colleagues or employers can be contacted only to obtain the contact details of the debtor, such a contact is allowed just once and if the collection agency needs to contact the third party more than once then the consent of the party is a must.

 

It is against the law for the agency to disclose or discuss the debt with any of the third party. If the collection agency contacts the employer or co-workers of the debtor then it must be only for verification purposes.

Can Collection Agencies Make False Claims and Deceptive Tactics?

The law forbids the collection agencies from threatening or employing tactics that could harm the debtor or the debtor’s family in any way. Threatening the debtor with arrest or seizing paychecks or property is strictly prohibited under the Fair Debt Collection Act.

The agency is also not allowed to claim to be representatives of the government or a legal institute. False legal documents or postcards cannot be mailed to the debtor by the agency and they cannot charge the debtor for any fee or skew the actual amount owed to the creditor.

What Can I Do to Combat Collection Agency Harassment?

If any of the debtor’s rights under the law or the Fair Debt Collection Act are violated, then the individual can file a suit against the collection agency within a year of the date the violation occurred. Based on Family Credit Management, the court can award financial damages to the petitioner who wins the case and also reimburse their attorney’s fees and other costs incurred in the case.

How to Report Collection Agencies that Violate the Law

The debtors can also report the collection agency violating the law to the Federal Trade Commission or the office of the state’s Attorney General. You may file a complaint online on the FTC website or contact their Consumer Response at (877)382-4357. If you want to send a written correspondence then you may do so through post.

Pick a Loan from the Lending Tree: lendingtree.com Review

There’s a good chance you have heard of Lending Tree (lendingtree.com). If you haven’t, it isn’t due to lack of money spent on advertising on their part. Lending Tree is basically a place you can go to get referrals from many major lenders when looking to finance or refinance your home, buy a boat, buy a car, etc.

Pick a Loan from the Lending Tree: Personal Experience and the Process

It should be noted that I do not get any type of referral fee or compensation of any type from Lending Tree. This is strictly a fair review based on my personal experience and what I was able to glean about the company from my application through them a few years ago.

Getting signed up at Lending Tree is pretty quick and painless. You simply go to their site and fill in all your information. Some people become a little apprehensive in giving out details over the Internet, but with Lending Tree they have put all the proper safeguards in place so that you can submit your information in a perfectly secure environment.

 

Just use the drop-down lists they have to identify the type of loan you are seeking, as well as the state in which you reside and any other information required for the type of loan you are coveting. Hit the button to get started and you are on your way.

Pick a Loan from the Lending Tree: What to Expect

The one thing I will say with certainty is that, while Lending Tree is definitely a place you should look into when in need of a loan, do not restrict yourself only to the lenders that they send to you. To be honest, the companies that I made contact with through Lending Tree had decent rates and acceptable enough deals, but they really didn’t stand out to any great degree over what I was able to find locally.

Use the quotes you get from Lending Tree lenders as a good jumping-off point of what to expect as terms, but then definitely compare that information to what you can get locally.

As far as the number of lenders who will contact you, prepare to be deluged. The good thing is that these are real, reputable companies. The downside is, some of them are overly persistent.

Lending Tree seems to be on the up and up with their Internet practices. I only received genuine offers and have not experienced any SPAMming or anything even slightly nefarious since my dealings with them.