Whether it’s a mortgage, medical debt, credit card debt or student loans, dealing with financial burdens can be incredibly difficult. It might be keeping you up at night or dominating your thoughts throughout the day as you worry about how to make payments. On top of it all, you have debt collection agencies constantly calling, adding pressure to an already tenuous situation.
It’s important to remember, then, that debt collection agencies have rulesthat they must abide by when attempting to collect. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act sets out the regulations they must follow throughout the process and knowing what they can and can’t do can be invaluable:
- They can call between eight in the morning and nine at night, unless you tell them in writing that you don’t wish to be contacted anymore.
- They must tell you that you can dispute the debt.
- During every instance of contact, they must say who they are and what they want.
- They cannot call so much that it constitutes harassing behavior.
- They cannot put your name on a “bad debt” list.
- They cannot use threats of a legal action or arrest.
- They cannot use bad language.
- They cannot make false claims about your debt.
- They cannot contact you at work if they’ve been notified that it’s not allowed
In addition, agencies are forbidden from contacting you at all if you have contracted an attorney to act on your behalf. In fact, an attorney can help deal with debt relief in a number of ways and may be able to help you lift the burden off your shoulders.