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.