Dealing with a collection account is never any fun. In fact, it can be extremely stressful and embarrassing. However, if you are in the unfortunate situation of having collection accounts on your credit reports and receiving calls or letters from debt collectors you are certainly not alone. Your situation is not even unique. According to the Central Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) nearly one third of consumers, or around 73 million people, currently have at least one or more collection accounts being reported on a credit report.
Yes, debt collectors have a job to do. Some of them even do their job well - that is to say they do it ethically and legally. However, there are many debt collectors who ignore the law, trample over your rights, and will harass you in an attempt to extort payment.
Do you know your rights when it comes to debt collection? The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) has a strict list of "Do's" and "Don'ts" which debt collectors are required to follow when contacting you in an attempt to collect a debt. Debt collectors are not allowed to simply do anything they please. Here are 5 of the most important rights which are afforded to you under the FDCPA.
- Limitations on Calling - Debt collectors are not permitted to call you before 8:00 AM or after 9:00 PM. Furthermore, these calling limitation are based upon YOUR time zone, not the time zone of the debt collector.
- Restrictions on Sharing Personal Information - Debt collectors are not allowed to share your personal business with others. Yes, they can call your job, your family, and even your friends to request your contact information. However, they are prohibited from mentioning your debt and they are only permitted to call each person once. Period.
- Harassment Is Prohibited - Debt collectors are not allowed to threaten you with violence, they are not allowed to use foul or obscene language when speaking with you, and they are not allowed to call you excessively.
- Restrictions on Calling You at Work - If you request that a debt collector stop contacting you at work then they must honor this request. You can make the request in writing or verbally.
- Lying is Off Limits - Debt collectors are not allowed to lie to you or to misrepresent themselves in any way while attempting to collect a debt. They cannot, for example, pretend to be a government agency in order to frighten you into paying a debt. They are not even allowed to use a fake name. In fact, dishonestly of any kind is a big no-no.
Free Debt Collection Letter Review Service
Many debt collectors will often contact you via mail in an attempt to collect a debt from you. Unfortunately, these collection letters are notorious for violating your rights under the FDCPA. If you receive a letter from a debt collector then we highly recommend taking advantage of our FREE Debt Collection Letter Review Service.
As part of HOPE4USA's free Debt Collection Letter Review Service we have partnered with an attorney who specializes in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. When you forward your debt collection letters to our team we will have an attorney to review your letters and search for any violations of your rights. If a violation has occurred then you may even be entitled to a settlement. The best part is that this service is available to you at absolutely no cost, whether you are a current member of our program or not.
CLICK HERE or call 704.499.9696 to request a free review of your collection letters now.
Michelle Black is an author and leading credit expert with over 13 years of experience, the credit blogger at HOPE4USA.com, a recognized credit expert on talk shows and podcasts nationwide, and a regularly featured speaker at seminars up and down the East Coast. She is an expert on improving credit scores, budgeting, and identity theft. You can connect with Michelle on the HOPE4USA Facebook page by clicking here.