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What can be done about debt collector harassment?

Debt collection harassment is a harsh realty for many individuals, and can be a problem for those with large estates considering filing for bankruptcy. This blog gives a brief overview of what restrictive laws are in place against debt collector harassment.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) has been established in order to protect individuals from debt collector harassment. It prohibits certain debt collector behavior, and is also applied to third parties employed by debt collectors. Actions that the FDCPA requires debt collectors to do:

  • Make their identity clear
  • Communicate clearly that they are debt collectors
  • Mention the original creditor's name and address
  • Tell the individual that they have a right to dispute the debt
  • Mail verification of the debt within 30 days or cease collection of the debt
  • File a lawsuit only in the place that the individual lives or the place that they signed the debt collection contract

The FDCPA prohibits the following actions from debt collectors, among others:

  • Calling earlier than 8 a.m, or later than 9 p.m.
  • Continuing to communicate after a written request to cease communication
  • Repeated or continuous calling
  • Adding the individuals' details to a "bad debt" list
  • Using abusive or harassing language
  • Continuing to communicate after the individual has filed for bankruptcy

The FDCPA is designed to work in the favor of individuals, and is a strict liability law. It is always vital to seek reliable legal guidance when dealing with serious debt collection problems, so that your case can be assessed individually. An experienced attorney can provide you with more information about debt collection and bankruptcy.

Source: Findlaw, "How to stop debt collector harrassment," accessed July 14, 2017

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