If you miss payments for a debt, you may get annoying calls from creditors. What many people in Will County, Illinois, don’t realize is that creditors cannot do anything they want. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act sets guidelines for debt collectors to follow and helps them know when they are crossing the line.
Overview of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
Passed in 1978, the FDCPA helps regulate the actions that a collection agency can take to collect a debt. Sometimes, creditors sell the delinquent debt to third-party debt collectors that take on the task of collecting, relieving them of the responsibility. This law prohibits creditor harassment from calling repeatedly, making empty threats to sue you, threatening violence, and using obscene language.
Creditors can only call you at certain times, which are between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m. unless you give them permission. New ways of communication have made it legal for collectors to use social media, emails, and texting with restrictions. They can also contact you at home, but they can only talk to you, not another party, about the debt.
How to stop debt collector harassment
The FDCPA only covers third-party debt collectors and not the original creditor or personal debts. If the collector keeps calling you at work, you can send them a notice in writing or tell them verbally to stop. To stop them from calling your home, you must send them a letter, but send it registered to get a return receipt for proof.
Ask for debt validation, which they should send within five days, stating the original creditor and the amount you owe. If you recently filed bankruptcy, they should have gotten notice to stop contacting you under the automatic stay, so ensure that your creditors understand.
You may also file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or the FTC. You only have one year to file a lawsuit in a small claims court or state or federal court.