It may be true that you do owe money to the debt collector who is standing at your door. However, that doesn’t change the fact that you are still a client and you deserve to be treated fairly. You have the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to protect you. This act will help you fight back when your debt collector displays actions that can be considered bad debt collection practices.
By understand the Debt Collection Practices, you will know what your debt collector can and cannot do.
Dos of Debt Collection
The debt collector must employ Debt Collection Practices that respect the rights of the debtor. This means that he should willingly provide the debtor with documents that will verify the nature of his debt. The debt collector must also initiate communication with the debtor. While communicating with the debtor, the collector must be courteous and cooperative.
Here are some of the other Debt Collection Practices that the collector should do:
1) Within five days of the initial contact, the debt collector should send a written document that lists all the details regarding the debt. These include information about the original creditor, the date the debt was incurred, the total amount owed, and the deadline for payment. Also, all the documents should be attached for the debtor’s reference.
2) The debt collector should let you know the steps you need to follow if you want to dispute the debt.
3) The debt collector should honor your requests. If you submit a letter to inform the collector that you no longer want him to call you, he should comply.
4) The debt collector should keep your debt as a private matter.
The Don’ts of Debt Collection
There are some Debt Collection Practices that are designed to intimidate the debtor. These Debt Collection Practices should be avoided. Debt collectors should remain respectful to the debtor. Acts of harassment and abuse are punishable by law.
Here are some of the Debt Collection Practices that are sanctioned by law:
1) Debt collectors are not allowed to contact you at inconvenient places or hours. This means no calls or visits before 8:00 am and after 9:00 pm. This also means that if it is inconvenient for you to talk to the collector when you’re at work, he should stop making calls and visits to your workplace.
2) Debt collectors are not allowed to issue false threats. Unless he fully intends to carry out legal action, the collector cannot say he will sue you. If he says he will sue you, ask for a document from the agency that shows its intention of pursuing legal action. Also, the debt collector cannot scare you with threats of jail or repossession.
3) Any debt collection practice that involves insulting or discriminating the debtor is completely unacceptable.
4) The debt collector cannot physically hurt you if you refuse to pay.