WHAT DEBT COLLECTORS CAN AND CAN’T DO
Nov. 8, 2017
At Harris-Courage & Grady, dealing with debt collectors is a big part of what we do.
Did you know that once you hire an attorney and begin the bankruptcy process, all your creditors and debt collectors must contact us instead of you?
Whether or not you’re ready to begin the bankruptcy process, we want to make sure you understand your rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The FDCPA specifies what debt collectors can and cannot do to try to collect a debt.
What Debt Collectors CAN Do:
Call you directly between 8AM and 9PM.
Contact you via mail. However, the mail cannot obviously be from a debt collector. Postcards are not allowed, and envelopes must be generic.
File a lawsuit. If you receive notice that a creditor or debt collector has filed a lawsuit against you, contact an attorney immediately. We can help you to avoid having a judgment filed against you.
Report your payment delinquency to the credit bureaus. Debt collectors will report to the credit bureaus. Having an account in collections will negatively impact your credit score.
What Debt Collectors CANNOT Do:
Call you on a Sunday.
Call you after 9PM or before 8AM. In order to call outside these hours, debt collectors must have your permission.
Contact your employer. They also can’t contact you at work if you have asked them not to call you while you are there.
Use vulgar or threatening language. A debt collector may not swear at you. They may not threaten you. For example, you will not be imprisoned for failing to repay a debt.
Send a letter appearing to be from a court. Letters from debt collectors must obviously be from debt collectors. They cannot pretend to be attorneys, or courts, in order to collect debts.
If a debt collector does something they are not allowed to do, they are in violation of the FDCPA. Each violation of the FDCPA carries a $1,000 fine. If your debt collectors have been violating the FDCPA, contact an attorney. You may have some extra money coming your way.