The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) dictates the behavior of third party debt collection agents when they attempt to collect debts from you, especially if the collection activity occurs during your bankruptcy case or after your discharge.
Third Party Debt Collection Agencies Violate This Law:
- When they contact you after you have obtained a bankruptcy lawyer
- When they harass you during filing or after your discharge
- When they use abusive or profane language, or yell during the call
- When they call you, your family, or your friends repeatedly (even after being told to stop)
- When they threaten violence or harm
- When they publish lists of the people who refuse to pay their debts
- When they ask for repayment after debts get discharged through Chapter 7 bankruptcy
- When they misrepresent the amount owed
- When they claim to be an attorney when they are not and threaten legal action
- When they promise to alleviate the debt when they have no intention or ability to do it
If you have filed for bankruptcy or your debt is discharged, and you are receiving letters or unwanted statements or phone calls from debt collection agencies:
- Gather all information relating to this correspondence that you can.
- Keep letters with envelopes, notices, or lawsuit papers you receive.
- Write down information from collectors’ telephone calls, including time of day, phone number, the caller’s name, the company they represent, and other details of the conversation. Do not delete any voicemails!
- Call the team at Sawin & Shea at 317-759-1483 or send an email for a free consultation.
What Is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a federal law that limits the behavior and actions of third-party debt collectors who are working as representatives for another party (your original creditor). The FDCPA protects you from aggressive third-party debt collection agencies who use abusive or harassing methods to try and collect a debt. It also allows you to sue these companies. If you win the case, it provides statutory damages up to $1,000 plus attorney fees.
Why Is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Established?
The Federal Trade Commission created the FDCPA to help protect debtors from unfair and deceptive practices by third-party collectors. Original creditors receive an automatic stay notification and must stop contacting the debtor about repayment. Sometimes the original company turns their debts over to unscrupulous third-party collectors. The FDCPA is designed to help bring the abusive practices by these companies in check and to protect debtors’ rights.
What Are Third-Party Collection Agencies Allowed to Do?
The FDCPA restricts the methods collectors use to contact you, but it does not stop them from communicating with you. If they follow the guidelines set forth by the FDCPA, they can still call, write, or text you. You are responsible for telling them to stop. We suggest that you do this both verbally and in a written document sent registered mail.
What are the Third-Party Collection Agency Guidelines Set Forth by the FDCPA?
Third-party collection agents can only contact you between the hours of 8 am and 9 pm EST to discuss payment of the debt. They can call spouses, relatives, neighbors and work associates to obtain your contact information only. They cannot mention the amount of the debt nor that they are trying to collect it. They can call you and try to work out repayment of debt. If you have entered Chapter 13 bankruptcy, refer them to your attorney.
How Can I Get These Companies to Stop Calling?
The best approach is to consult a lawyer. You do not have to suffer harassing calls from third-party collection agencies. The Indiana bankruptcy attorneys at Sawin & Shea pursue collection agencies who violate the FDCPA law, during and after your bankruptcy case. If you are struggling with belligerent calls, contact us at 317-759-1483 or Send an Email for a Free Consultation. We are ready to help.