Are you currently dealing with debt or maybe you have in the past? Did you know that the United States Congress passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) in 1977 to help protect you? This act was passed to protect all consumers from any harassment or abuse from debt collectors. Don’t get stuck with phone call after phone call or letter after letter. Can they seize your property for unpaid debt? We will discuss this and more!
Threats are not the way
Debt collectors will try different tactics for collecting on their debts. They may try notification letters, calling your work or leaving messages on your voicemail. No matter how a collector tries to contact you they cannot threaten you, it is against the law. Threats of property seizure rings just as true! They are breaking the laws that FDCPA enacted to protect people from the debt collectors. They cannot and will not seize your property, ever!
What are their restrictions?
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act put in place a set of guidelines that creditors or debt collectors must abide when trying to collect a debt. A few are as follows:
- Using abusive or obscene language
- Calling before 8am or after 9pm
- Misrepresenting the amount of your debt
- Threatening to garnish wages or seize property unless they actually intend to do it
- Talking to anyone but you, your spouse, or your attorney about the debt
- Call you repeatedly or continuously
- Call at times they know or should know are inconvenient
If for any reason they do not follow the rules put in place then you may potentially sue for damages regarding the incident. There is a line that is drawn and debt collectors should understand where that line is.
Check your Credit Report
After it is established that you have paid your debt or have set up a plan to pay it there is something you should check; your credit report. Credit reports stick with you for many, many years long after the debt is gone. If for any reason a creditor has not cleared you of the unpaid debt then it has a negative impact on your credit. This in turn will have a negative impact on future things like buying a house, taking out a loan, or even applying for a credit card. First and foremost, you check your credit report. If there is something still there that you know is paid then call the creditor to have it updated on the credit report.
Know your Rights
If you learn nothing else about getting out of debt be sure to know your rights. You are legally protected by the FDCPA on so many levels. Should we pay our debts, yes! Should we deal with threats when we are unable to no matter the cause, NO! Your life should not be overrun by calls, messages or letters from these collectors. Take your life back and seek help. If you are in doubt in any way, you should contact an FDCPA attorney to discuss your options.