There are so many things that need to be considered when it comes to debts, and the processes that go along with it. Like many other financial plans, borrowing money also needs to have proper management and operations, to ensure that everything in the process works out fine. One of the underlying regulations that help aid individuals in responsible debt management is the Fair Debt Collection Act (FDCPA). What is it all about? If you want to broaden your knowledge about it, continue reading.
FDCPA is an amendment in the Consumer Protection Program, that establishes legal protection to help consumers avoid abusive practices during debt collection. One powerful legal measure that can be used in the FDCPA, is the Cease & Desist order; you can use it to stop harassment from creditors (like Sears) or debt collectors, like ic systems collection agency.
With that said, here are the other legal measures of the FDCPA, that were also designed with the purpose of protecting consumers:
– To abolish abusive practices during debt collection.
– To promote fair practices in the collection of debts.
– To provide the consumers with a way to dispute and obtain validation of information about their debts (so that accuracy on the information is ensured).
FDCPA sets guidelines that demand compliance from debt collectors, when it comes to: Their business operation, their definition of consumers’ rights and the way in which debt collectors are penalized – in the event of an FDCPA violation. FDCPA sometimes serves as a complimentary Act with the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act).
What are the ways Collection Agencies violate this act?
Even if you are a debtor (and you’ve been making attempts to fulfil your promises to pay for your debt), there should still be appropriate ways on how debt collectors will treat you. Sadly, there are instances when consumers suffer certain disrespect from some debt collectors. This is why an Act that prevents such mishaps needs to be created. The FDCPA is one of the most reliable Acts that provide protection to consumers; this Act mandates how collectors of your debt will act, when they collect your debts.
Here are the ways collection agencies commit FDCPA violations:
1. Asking the debtor to pay more than they owe…
Basically, you are bound to pay the exact amount you owed, unless it includes interests. Unfortunately, there are agencies that try to assign frivolous fees to your payment, inflating it to an amount that is not stated in your initial agreement. Which brings us to…
2. Unlawful interests…
It is true that there are times when you need to pay certain interest rates as a penalty. However, such fees or any other expenses need to be in the amount permitted by law. Collection agencies cannot (and should not) add any extra charges that are not allowed in your original loan or credit.
3. Continuous and repeated calls…
Reminders through calls regarding your debts, are fine – provided they are not too excessive. The problem is, sometimes, collection agencies call debtors more than they need to. Continuous and repeated calls are considered (by the FDCPA) as a form of harassment.
4. Inappropriate time of call…
Collection agencies can call you about your debt, within the allowed period of time. The FDCPA sets 8:00 am to 9:00 pm as the duration at which collectors can make calls you regarding your debts. Calling before 8 am and after 9 pm are considered harassment.
5. Calling debtors when collectors already knew (or should have known) what is considered inconvenient times to call…
This is considered a violation in the FDCPA.
6. Insensitive language…
No one deserves to be slandered. There are collectors that use abusive, profane, and obscene language as they do their duty. This is a clear violation of [15 USC 1692D] § 806 (2) under the FDCPA.
7. Threats of using violence…
Collection agencies should never threaten you or use violence against you – in the event that you do not or cannot pay your debt.
8. Unlawfully filing charges and other damages…
Collectors cannot use the following as threats against you:
– File charges
– Take property
– Take action for you to lose your job
– Destroy your credit
9. Illegal information to third party…
Collection agencies are not allowed to inform third party people or entity regarding your debt. The following are exemptions:
– The creditor
– The attorney of the creditor
– Your parent(s) (for debtors who are minors)
– Your spouse
– Your attorney
– An agency that does the credit reporting
10. Repeated calls to third party in order to figure out your location…
This is a violation of the FDCPA. The only time collectors can contact a third party entity, is when there is a believable reason that the information they previously received from the third party, is false.
How can consumers use the FDCPA to delete collection agencies from their credit report?
Collection agencies need not delete items on your credit reports, if there are no grounds to do so. If there is a need for you to eliminate items from your credit report, you need to pin-point the violation(s) the debt collector has committed – that resulted in the said negative items placed on your report; this is one way by which consumers can delete negative items quickly. The law and agencies that enforce your consumer rights – will provide you with the necessary steps you need to take, as matter progress.
You might be a debtor. But you don’t deserve to be treated unjustly; if you are (and want to prevent such things from happening to you), learn more about the FDCPA and get the protection you deserve!