If you are being harassed by debt collectors in Illinois or feel that you are being maltreated, you may have recourse under the FDCPA. Here are five ways in which the FDCPA protects consumers from abusive debt collection practices.
1. You have the right to dispute a debt
If you believe that a debt is not yours or that you have already paid the debt, you can notify the debt collector in writing of your dispute. The debt collector must then cease collection activity on the disputed debt until they have provided you with verification of the debt.
2. You have the right to request debt validation
The FDCPA also allows you to request information from the debt collector about the original creditor, the amount of the debt, etc. If a debt collector cannot provide this information, they are not allowed to continue collecting on the debt.
3. You have a right to control communication with debt collectors
Debt collectors are not allowed to call you at an inconvenient time, place, or frequency. They are also not allowed to communicate with you at your place of employment if they know that your employer disapproves of such communication. You can control how a creditor approaches you by making a request in writing on what’s more convenient for you.
4. Debt collectors are not allowed to engage in abusive practices
The FDCPA also prohibits creditor harassment when attempting to collect a debt. This includes using threats of violence, using obscene or profane language, making repeated phone calls with the intention of harassing the consumer, and other abusive tactics.
5. You have the right to sue a debt collector
You can sue a debt collector if they have violated any of the provisions of the Act. If you win your lawsuit, you may be awarded damages, as well as have your attorney’s fees and costs paid by the debt collector.
Just as much as you have rights, the creditors have theirs too. For example, your creditor isn’t prohibited from suing you when they feel like you are taking advantage of them. Regardless, always ensure you know and uphold your rights at all times.