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Debt Collection Practices

The Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FFDPA) was implemented to protect consumers against unfair and deceptive practices when it comes to debt collection.

What Practices Are Illegal for Debt Collectors?
  • Calling the debtor before 8am or after 9pm unless it has been approved by the debtor
  • Using a fake name to reach the debtor
  • Using foul, offensive language
  • Using misleading statements when attempting to collect a debt
  • Threatening the consumer with violence
  • Using deceptive practices to prompt the debtor to accept the call
  • Publishing a list of debtors who are behind on payments (with the exception of credit bureaus)
  • Collecting an amount greater than the debt (unless this is allowed in your state)
  • Non-disclosure of the creditors’ identity when discussing a debt on the phone
  • Sending mail that signifies a court order but is really a collection letter
business meeting with papers on table

What Can a Debt Collector Do Legally?

If the debtor has an attorney, the collector must contact the attorney and not the debtor.  If there is not an attorney involved, the collector may attempt to reach people you know to help find you, but are normally prohibited from calling more than once.

Also, once a collector is notified that your employer does not approve of contacting you at your place of employment, the collector is not allowed to call you there.

A collector must call between 8am and 9pm unless approved by the debtor.

How to Stop Creditor Harassment

Write a letter to the collector and request them to stop.  They should not contact you upon receipt of your letter.  However, the letter will not prevent the creditor from filing a lawsuit.