How can I stop debt collectors from harassing me and my family?
In the United States collection agents are limited in the methods they can use to collect consumer debts by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Consumer debts include credit card debt, auto loans, mortgage payments, medical bills and other family and household expenses not used for a business. If you are dealing with a debt collector or have any questions call your Morgan & Morgan for a free consultation today.
Collection agents MUST:
- Contact you in writing, or attempt to do so, before taking any further action to collect a debt, including legal actions to secure payment of the debt;
Identify themselves when contacting you about a collection matter;
- Provide information on the original creditor and amount owed. The original creditor is the company or institution to which the debt was owed before it was transferred to the collection agency.
- Collection agents are NOT permitted to:
- Harass you or your family with threats of harm or violence, use of obscene language or by making calls at unreasonable times of day;
- Deceive you by providing inaccurate or misleading information;
- Send you false legal documents or threaten to take legal action they are not authorized or willing to take;
- Charge interest or other fees that are not authorized by law;
- Demand payment on an account that you have disputed without providing verification that the debt is legitimate;
- Contact your employer, relatives, friends and neighbors for anything other than your direct contact information. In some instances debt collectors may be permitted to contact employers to verify employment, job title and mailing address.
Most debt collection activities by a collection service must stop if you notify the company in writing to stop contacting you. However, this will not stop you from being sued on the debt. If you are facing multiple debts that you cannot pay, it may be time to consider a bankruptcy case. At Morgan & Morgan, we will carefully analyze your financial situation and advise you of the best course of action. The initial consultation is free, and we never pressure a client to file a case. The ultimate decision of how you want to proceed is yours alone. The important thing is that you have all the facts you need to make the right choice. We’ll do all we can to make sure you fully understand your options.
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