Debt Collection Laws & Dealing With Debt Collectors Tips
The federal fair debt collection practices act (FDCPA) ensures debt collection laws are followed and debt collectors are prevented from using harassing tactics and threatening, unfair, abusive, or deceptive techniques to collect mortgage, medical bills, auto loans, credit card debts and other debts from consumers.
How to stop debt collector harassment.
If you feel that your creditor is harassing you by phone, you should record the day, time, name of the person who is making each call and length of every phone conversation. If you believe your rights are being violated, you may hire a low cost attorney and bring a lawsuit against the creditor in circuit court based on the federal fair debt collection practices act.
Under the law, some types of creditors activities or behaviors are not permitted. The debt collector cannot:
threaten to send you to jail for not paying your debt.
use vulgar or obscene language.
threaten to use force or violence.
harass you or members of your family by making continuous phone calls.
pretend to be a law enforcement agent or an attorney. (police officer impersonation is a crime).
contact your employer, without first obtaining a court judgment against you.
call you at work when told that you can be reached at home at a reasonable time and you are at home during those hours.
make false claims in an attempt to get you to pay valid claims.
reveal or disclose your debt problems to anyone (person or business) without first informing you.
ABOUT MONEY GARNISHMENT
Here are the federal benefits that are exempt from garnishment:
Social Security Benefits
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits
Civil Service and Federal Retirement and Disability Benefits
Foreign Service Retirement and Disability Benefits
Military Annuities and Survivors’ Benefits
Service Members’ Pay
Railroad Retirement Benefits
Longshoremen’s and Harbor Workers’ Death and Disability Benefits
Merchant Seamen Wages
Federal Emergency Management Agency Federal Disaster Assistance
Compensation for Injury, Death, or Detention of Employees of U.S. Contractors Outside the U.S.
If you own taxes, child support, alimony, or student loans, federal benefits may be garnished to pay these debts.
THINGS YOU SHOULD DO IF CONTACTED BY A COLLECTION AGENCY:
Ask the name, address and phone number of the person and company calling you.
Ask the name of the business you owe money to, if different from the caller.
Find out the exact amount they say you owe.
Contact the business on whose behalf the collection agency claim they are collecting to confirm the debt, and ask if they have authorized this agency to collect the debt on their behalf.
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