What do you do when collection agencies start calling? If you fall behind in paying bills, you may receive unpleasant phone calls from a collection company attempting to collect on the overdue balance.
Debt collectors must abide by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The FDCPA is a federal law put in place to address the underhanded tactics that some collection agencies undertake in trying to make people pay their debts. Make sure you know your rights.
Here are some things you should know:
- Make sure you owe the debt. Sometimes collection agencies may call you based on listings it receives and may be looking for someone with the same or similar name. Furthermore, the collection agency must provide original documentation that you owe the debt.
- Determine when you incurred the debt. There may be statute of limitations on whether you are still obligated to pay the debt.
- Pursuant to the FDCPA, debt collectors cannot do the falling:
- call before 8:00 am or after 9:00 pm;
- call you at your work if it is known your employer does not allow phone calls;
- harass, oppress or abuse you;
- lie to you or imply you have committed a crime;
- conceal their identity. They must tell you that they are attempting to collect a debt;
- disregard a written notice from you to cease further contact
These are only a few of your rights under the FDCPA. If a collection agency violates any of these rights, you may sue and receive up to a $1,000 in damages in addition to attorney fees.
If you think your rights are being violated, please call and we me at (206) 684-9462 and I may be able to help.