The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act requires that debt collectors treat you fairly by prohibiting certain methods of debt collection.
Personal, family, and household debts are covered under the Act. This includes money owed for the purchase of an automobile, for medical care, or for charge accounts.
A debt collector is any person, other than the creditor, who regularly collects debts owed to others. Under a 1986 amendment to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, this includes attorneys who collect debts on a regular basis.
A collector may contact you in person, by mail, telephone, telegram, or FAX. However, a debt collector may not contact you at unreasonable times or places, such as before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m., unless you agree. A debt collector also may not contact you at work if the collector knows that your employer disapproves.
You may stop a collector from contacting you by writing a letter to the collection agency telling them to stop. Once the agency receives your letter, they may not contact you again except to say there will be no further contact. Please send the letter by certified, return receipt request and keep copies of everything. Free letters are available here.
If you have an attorney, the debt collector may not contact anyone other than your attorney. If you do not have an attorney, a collector may contact other people, but only to find out where you live and work. Collectors usually are prohibited from contacting such permissible third parties more than once but if they already have your phone numbers or location, there is no need to contact others.. In most cases, the collector is not permitted to tell anyone other than you and your attorney that you owe money.
Within five days after you are first contacted, the collector must send you a written notice telling you the money you owe; the name of the creditor to whom you owe the money; and what action to take if you believe you do not owe the money.
A collector may not contact you if, within 30 days after you are first contacted, you send the collection agency a letter stating you do not owe money. However, a collector can renew collection activities if you are sent proof of the debt, such as a copy of a bill for the amount owed. Make sure they follow the law.
Harassment. Debt collectors may not harass, oppress, or abuse any person. For example, debt collectors may not:
Debt collectors also may not state that:
Debt collectors may not:
Debt collectors may not engage in unfair practices in attempting to collect a debt. For example, collectors may not:
If your state allows, you do not have to tell the debt collector you are recording them. In Michigan and Florida, where we represent most clients, you do have to provide notice that you are recording the call. Check the internet for a list of states allowing only one party permission. Even if you must tell them, don't worry, just say "I'm going to record this call." They can't help themselves and will continue with threats and abuse. BUT GET IT ON TAPE.
You have the right to sue a collector in a state or federal court within one year from the date you believe the law was violated. If your win, you may recover money for the damages you suffered. Court costs and attorney's fees also can be recovered. In a class action, a group of people also may sue a debt collector and recover money for damages up to $500,000, or one percent of the collector's net worth, whichever is less.
To me, Brian Parker. We will sue the bad guys, get you money damages, make them pay any fees or costs and in some cases, eliminate the debt.