Who are the debt collectors by law?
Attorneys who collect debt on a regular basis are considered as debt collectors under the 1986 amendment to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
You can call a person a debtor when:
- He owes money on a personal loan.
- He uses a credit card.
- He is paying on a home mortgage.
What does law say about the procedure of debt collection?
It is the responsibility of a debt collector to collect the debt from the debtor but through fair and rightful means. Any forceful means to collect debt is not allowed under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. You must be aware that under any situation or circumstances, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act requires the debt collectors to treat you fairly by prohibiting certain methods of debt collection.
If I am not able to pay the loan, can they harass me?
The law doesn't permit the debt collectors to harass debtors under any situation. Debt collectors are restricted from using threats of violence or causing harm to any person in debt. They cannot use abuse debtors. They also cannot publish the debtor's name in public, neither can they harass debtors by calling up from time to time. The law gives you all types of protection if you are in serious debt problems.
Debt collectors are not allowed to engage in unfair practices when they try to collect a debt. They are not allowed to:
- Collect any amount greater than your debt, unless allowed by law;
- Deposit a post-dated check prematurely;
- Make you accept collection calls or pay for telegrams;
- Take or threaten to take away your property unless this can be done legally.
- Contact you by postcard.
- Make false statements on government policies.
- Introduce themselves as government representatives.
If any debt collector tries to break the law, the outcome can be severe. You have the right to sue them in a state or federal court within 1 year from the date you think the law was violated. If you win, you will recover the money for all the damages you have suffered. You can also recover the court costs and attorney fees. A group of people also have the right to sue a debt collector and recover money for damages up to 500,000 dollars, or 1 % of the collector's net worth, whichever is less. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act may protect you from all probable harassments by a debt collector. But the law cannot prevent you from paying for your debts.