As a business owner, getting paid by clients is crucial for running a business smoothly. If clients don’t pay on time, some business owners use debt collection agencies to help collect overdue payments efficiently. Although debt collectors may have a negative reputation for harassment, not all of them resort to such tactics. To ensure that a reputable debt collector is chosen it’s important to understand the laws surrounding debt collection, such as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which sets rules for what debt collectors can and cannot do. Selecting a company that follows these laws is essential for both customers and businesses.
Here Is A List Of 8 Things Debt Collectors Cannot Do When Attempting To Collect A Debt:
- They cannot call you at odd hours. Debt collectors are not allowed to call you before 8 am or after 9 pm, and they shouldn’t contact you on holidays like Christmas or Thanksgiving. If a debt collector calls you at 1 am on a regular weekday, you have the right to tell them to stop calling you during unreasonable hours.
- They cannot threaten you. Debt collectors are not allowed to make scary threats. They can’t say you’ll go to jail if you don’t pay, threaten to sue you if they don’t plan to, or intimidate you by saying they’ll spill the beans about your debts to your friends and family.
- They cannot use abusive language. If a debt collector starts using bad language or calling you names during a phone call, it’s a good idea to end the call right away. Afterward, make a note of what happened and consider sending the details to the agency’s management. If things get more serious, meeting with an attorney can help you understand your rights as a consumer.
- They cannot ask you to pay more than you owe. Asking for more than the actual debt is considered an unfair or deceptive practice, and it is prohibited by law to protect consumers from abusive debt collection practices. If you believe a debt collector is trying to get you to pay more than you owe, you have the right to dispute the debt and request verification of the amount owed.
- They cannot tell anyone about your debt. The prohibition on disclosing debt information to others is in place to protect your privacy and prevent undue embarrassment or harm to your reputation. Debt collectors are typically only allowed to communicate with the debtor, their attorney, the creditor, and credit reporting agencies regarding the debt. This restriction is intended to ensure that debt collection efforts are conducted professionally, respecting the privacy and dignity of the individual in debt. If a debt collector violates these rules, you may have grounds to file a complaint or take legal action against them.
- They cannot report false information on your credit report. Debt collectors can truthfully inform you about unpaid debts, but they are prohibited from fabricating information to worsen your credit situation. If you’re being contacted by a debt collector, it’s a good idea to review your credit report to ensure they aren’t making any false statements that could negatively impact your creditworthiness.
- They can’t lie about who they are. If a debt collector gives you a call and you inquire about their identity, they are obligated to disclose who they’re representing to collect the debt. They are not allowed to falsely claim to be a collection attorney or assert authority they don’t genuinely possess.
- They cannot keep calling you if you ask that they stop. If you request a debt collector to stop calling you at your workplace, whether you do it verbally or in writing, they are obligated by law to comply. You can also submit a written request asking them to cease all contact. It’s important to note that this doesn’t relieve you of your debt obligations; it simply means the debt collector cannot contact you by phone anymore.
All debt collectors are required to follow the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. If a customer comes to you and says that a debt collector is harassing them, it’s important that you speak to the debt collection agency immediately.
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