November 21, 2017
 
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Extreme Debt Collectors: Know Your Rights

If you’ve ever been behind in paying your bills and they’ve been turned over to a debt collector, you can relate to how stressful it can be. There are certain things the debt collectors can and cannot do that you should know about.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, enforced by the Federal Trade Commission, prohibits debt collectors from using false or misleading statements, harassing or abusive conduct or any unfair methods to collect debts. They cannot make false threats to coerce payment or use deceptive collection notices that falsely appear to be from an attorney or a court. In addition, they cannot engage in any sort of harassment, such as threatening violence, using profanity and obscenities, or making continuous phone calls.

What this means for you
Personal, family, and household debts are covered under this Act. You may be contacted in person, by mail, over the phone, or by telegram or fax. Debt collectors may not contact you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m., unless you agree. Also, they cannot contact you at work if they know it is unacceptable to your employer. To stop the calls or contact altogether, you can send a letter telling them to stop. However, they can contact your attorney if you have one. They can also contact other third parties one time to find out where you live, your phone number, and where you work. Remember to keep a detailed record of all conversations and other contact. 

Knowing your rights can help alleviate some of the stress. If you believe a debt collector has gone overboard and treated you unfairly, you can report the problem to your state Attorney General’s office and the Federal Trade Commission.

For more detailed information, go to
www.ftc.gov.

If you find you are struggling to
pay off debt, please contact a credit counseling company today. 

 

 

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