June 26th, 2015 by Jason M. Kaplan, Esq.
Know your Rights: Don’t Let Collections Companies Railroad You!
Don’t Let Collections Companies Railroad You!
Many collection agents use intimidation tactics in their attempts to collect debts for their clients, but there are rules they have to follow. If you have an account that was sent to collections, they have to respect your rights. Many will push the envelope, but if you know your rights, you can keep them from crossing the line.
Who Regulates Consumers’ Rights with Collections Companies?
In 1968, the U.S. Congress enacted The Consumer Credit Protection Act, which protects citizens’ rights when it comes to collections. The act was later amended with updated protections and the name of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The FDCPA outlines what collections companies can and cannot do in the course of collecting debts.
What Rights Do You Have?
The FDCPA has very strict guidelines with regards to what collections companies and debt collectors are allowed and are not allowed to do. You have the right to not be harassed at home or at your job. You have the right to not have your employer called or informed of debt collections procedures against you. You have the right to not have your family or neighbors contacted regarding debt collections procedures. You have the right not to be pressured into paying a debt that isn’t yours. You even have the right to forbid a debt collector from contacting you at all. These are just a few examples.
A more comprehensive explanation of your rights and the FDCPA’s rules for collections companies is provided by Jason M. Kaplan, President and Corporate Counsel of The Credit Pros:
What To Do If You Feel Your Rights Have Been Violated?
If you believe a debt collector or collections company has violated your rights, there are steps you can take to resolve the issue. The first thing you need to do is make sure you have collected supporting evidence for your claim, which should include as much of the following information as possible: the name of the debt collector or collection company, the name of the person who called, the times and dates of the calls made to you, and any specific details pertaining to the perceived violation.
You can file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, the Attorney General of your state, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. You may also file a civil suit against the collector in state or federal court.
Know Your Rights
If you are unsure what your rights are and what debt collectors are and are not allowed to do, you can read the full Fair Debt Collection Practices Act here.
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