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Fair Debt Collections Practices Act

The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act protects consumers from abusive collection practices. You do have rights and it’s important to know them.

Federal law gives you rights. For example, debt collectors CAN’T:

  • Call before 8 AM and after 9 PM.
  • Curse or insult you.
  • Demand you pay more than you owe.
  • Lie about anything.
  • Say papers sent to you are legal forms when they are not.
  • Make up consequences for not paying your debt.
  • Call you at work if your employer doesn’t allow it and you’ve informed them in writing or verbally.

If any of the above happens, make note of the agents you are speaking with and report abusive practices and file a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission.

For more information visit the Federal Trade Commission section on Debt Collection.

How can you stop debt collectors from contacting you?

If you’ve decided you no longer want debt collectors to contact you, send a certified letter requesting that they stop all communication with you. After the letter is received, a debt collector can only contact you to state they are no longer going to reach out to you or to tell you that they are going to take a specific action – such as filing a lawsuit.

It’s important to speak to the debt collector and find out if the debt is yours and determine if it’s debt that you can settle. Ignoring debt collectors can escalate into a potential lawsuit which will then become a legal judgment to pay the debt.

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