Debt Collection Abuses
Many consumers also need protection from debt collectors hired by predatory lenders trying to intimidate consumers into paying back debts. Common creditor tactics include:
- Talking with relatives, friends, and employers about a consumer’s debt without permission
- Making harassing or abusive telephone calls
- Threatening to take actions that are not intended (such as filing a lawsuit against the consumer).
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was passed by Congress to stop debt collection abuses. It applies to personal, family, and household debts. This includes money you owe for the purchase of a car, for medical care, or for charge accounts. The FDCPA prohibits debt collectors from engaging in unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices while collecting these debts. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act:
- Debt collectors may contact you only between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.
- Debt collectors may not contact you at work if they know your employer disapproves.
- Debt collectors may not harass, oppress, or abuse you.
- Debt collectors may not lie when collecting debts, such as falsely implying that you have committed a crime.
- Debt collectors must identify themselves to you on the phone.
- Debt collectors must stop contacting you if you ask them to do so in writing.
If you are a victim of an abusive debt collector, contact Consumer Fraud Online to discuss your options.