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Knowing Your Rights Can Help Stop Collection Agency Harassment

Knowing Your Rights Can Help Stop Collection Agency Harassment

by consumerlawcenter

A debt agency is a third-party company which is contacted by credit card, or money lending companies to collect payment from the debtor. Though most are ethical, some agencies are unscrupulous with their dealings with regards to debtors. Many people do not know that unethical practices by these agencies is illegal. Debtors are protected by certain acts which prohibit this kind of practice. By knowing our rights as debtors, we can stop collection agency harassment. How can debtors be protected?

In the United States, there is a law including provisions for debtor’s rights against abuse of the creditor or collector. These are the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act for the United States and the Rosenthal Act of 1996 for California. It sets the limits in obtaining payments of a loan or obligation. If any of the provisions are violated, the debtor may sue the agency or the creditor company.

The bill was formulated because of an increasing number of reported abusive practices of debt collection that often leads to loss of jobs, invasion of privacy, and bankruptcy. The bill qualifies abusive acts as a form of harassment, stating the “use of threat, violence, or criminal means which can harm the person, his property, or even his reputation, the use of obscene languages, a published list of debtors, and to engage in phone calls to annoy the debtor”. Giving misleading information is also one of the offenses.

Moreover, some illegal practices include unnecessary collection of fees, such as interest fees, surcharges or more, which is illegal unless it is authorized by the agreement between the creditor and the debtor. If you are being asked to pay anything different than the amount you and the creditor have agreed upon, you may be dealing with a debt collection agency that is acting illegally. If these situations are happening to you, how can you stop it?

Stop collection agency harassment by acting immediately. If a collector calls you and tries to collect the debt via phone, do not avoid answering the questions. Instead, answer the phone and tell the agency that you are recording your conversation. Do not offer information regarding your current finances, but do ask for some time to pay off your debts. If that does not stop the collectors from calling, or if you feel that they are acting illegally, you can and should acquire legal advice from attorney’s offices in your state to deal with the collection agency.

 

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