If you’ve been in debt, then you know what it’s like having debt collection creditors call to find out when they can expect you to start making payments again. While it’s bad enough when the people you owe money to blow up your phone, it can get doubly frustrating when creditors start harassing your friends and family to try to exert pressure on an already tense situation.
However, it’s important for you to know your rights when it comes to the rules creditors and debt collectors have to follow in regards to their conduct, because if they step out of line you are not required to take that abuse lying down.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, And You!
In the past, debt collectors didn’t have any real limits based on what they could say, and who they could say it to. This led to them constantly hounding and harassing people who owed them money, but it also led to calls to those people’s family and friends, creating an ever-growing ripple effect of frustration and negativity.
Given that these debt collectors want to be paid now, and one of the best ways to pay off a debt is to ask a friend or family member for a loan, it was a very common strategy. A flood of complaints to Congress in the 1970s followed, and these complaints led to the investigation from Congress about what these practices were doing.
The negative repercussions on family, marriages, and mental health led to the passing of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which laid out clear guidelines and practices that debt collectors had to follow in order to avoid getting themselves in legal hot water.
The short version of what this law requires is that debt collectors cannot harass someone’s friends and family in order to put pressure on the individual who owes them money. A debt collector can call a debtor’s friends and family precisely once, and they are only allowed to ask if they know where the debtor is, and if they can provide a phone number.
They cannot insinuate someone is in trouble, disclose the details of their situation, or even acknowledge that someone has debt; they can only ask for their contact information, and that’s about it.
What Happens When Debt Collectors Break The Law?
When you owe money, it’s easy to feel like you have no power in your situation. After all, any time you raise a complaint it can simply be met with the response, “If you pay what you owe, this will all stop.” But owing money doesn’t mean you give up your rights and protections under the law. And just because someone wants you to repay them doesn’t mean they can skirt the rules of engagement, so to speak.
With that said, it’s important for you to have evidence that a debt collector is using illegal means to harass you. Whether that’s recordings of phone calls, corroborating testimony from your friends and family members, or phone records showing the collector’s calls are in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, you need to be able to show that what they’re doing is breaking the law. Once you do that, all that’s left to do is find a representative to help fight for you.
That’s where we come in. Everyone has to follow the law, and just because you’re in a position where you’re struggling to pay off debts you owe, that doesn’t mean debt collectors can treat you and your loved ones poorly.
Contact Walker & Walker Law Offices Today
If you need help taking bad debt collection practices to task, then all you have to do is contact us today. We’ll help you get things back to normal.