Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), you are protected from the abusive actions of a debt collector. No matter how much the creditor wants his money back, he needs to follow the guidelines of this debt collection law. This law has special implications for you, your workplace and even your medical care.
The Debt Collection Law and Your Workplace
The debt collection law, specifically the FDCPA, specifies that a debt collector may contact your office only to inquire about your location, your home address as well as your contact information. This form of contact can only be done if the debt collector has no other means of locating your current residence.
Meanwhile, the debt collection law also gives the debt collector the right to send papers and documentation to your boss. These documents are files on your debt that are somehow related to your job and your salary. A common example is a court order that asks for details about your salary.
However, the debt collector is not allowed to volunteer any information regarding your debt. The debt collector may only share this information if your boss asks for it, or if he is asking your boss to answer certain paperwork that is related to your debt. While the debt collector may not share the details of your debt, your employer may have other ways of obtaining such information. Usually, records of your debt may appear on your credit rating. Since your employer is allowed to view this information, he may learn about your debt.
The Debt Collection Law and your Health Care
Unpaid medical bills are a huge concern for creditors and their collection agencies. If you fail to settle your medical bills, your healthcare provider may turn over your account to a collection agency. However, the debt collection law and the law concerning medical bills indicate that you must first agree to such a transaction before a collection agency takes over your account. If for some reason you dispute the debt, you may raise your concerns at this point.
Even though a debt collection agency is taking care of your account, your healthcare provider will still protect your privacy. To this extent, the healthcare provider will only release information on your name, address, account number, social security number and your date of birth.
The Debt Collection Law and Identity Theft
The debt collection law also has provisions for identity theft. If a collection agency contacts you regarding a debt that you have no previous knowledge of, you may be a victim of identity theft. The first thing you should do is ask for documents regarding your debt. Ask for transaction records, letters of agreement, and receipts. If you have verified that the debt is really not yours, ask the debt collector for a fraud affidavit form. Once the form is processed, the debt collector will stop contacting you and the identity thief will be pursued.