Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and Your Rights
Debtors facing collections actions by creditors have a specific set of rights as defined by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
Let’s take a look at a few of these rights:
The Right To Know
A debtor facing collections actions by a third-party collector has the right to know that they are being contacted for the purposes of collecting on a debt. This means that the debt collector must inform the debtor in each communication that they are contacting them because they want to collect on a debt.
The Right Of No Contact
Debt collectors are only allowed to call between 8am and 9pm; but the debtor has the right to tell the debt collector to not contact them. Also, if a debtor is represented by an attorney the debt collector is prohibited from contacting the debtor directly and must send all communications to the attorney. If the debtor has informed the debt collector to not contact their place of employment, the debt collector is required to cease and desist.
The Right To Remain Free From Harassment
The debtor collector does not have the right to harass, abuse or demean the debtor. The definition of what is debt collection harassment , abusive and demeaning has been left up to the courts to decide. However, the use of profanity, threats or language that would be construed as upsetting or defamatory might fall under the category of forbidden behavior.
The Right To Honesty
The debt collector is prohibited from using misleading information to collect on a debt. For example, the debt collector cannot claim that a debtor will go to prison if they don’t pay a debt.