If your debt gets turned over to a debt collector you may experience numerous calls. However, some consumers still don’t know their rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. It is beneficial to know how the FDCPA can help you deal with debt collectors in Memphis, Tennessee.
How the FDCPA works
The FDCPA came into law in 1977 as a response to creditor harassment and unfair and abusive collection practices. When you fall behind on debt, the original creditor often turns it over to third-party collectors for pennies. However, the collector can not do anything they want and must follow certain rules outlined in the FDCPA. The law forbids them to:
- call you between 9 pm and 8 am without permission
- use abusive language
- threaten to publish debt
- contact you at work without permission
- falsely threaten litigation
- discuss the debt with anyone other than a spouse
The FDCPA only applies to personal debts acquired by third-party agencies and not business debts or the original creditor. Under new laws, a collector may contact you by text or social media, but it must be a private message.
Recognizing scam debt collectors
A genuine debt collector will validate the debt for you within five days of contact with the amount owed and the name of the creditor. If you don’t recognize the debt, the collector refuses information or asks for personal data, it could indicate a scam.
A scam agency often uses pressure to make you pay, such as threatening to arrest you or pretending to work for the government. To investigate further, check your credit report, which is free from each credit bureau once annually. Contact the original creditor to validate the debt has been turned over and the name of the agency.
You can request the agency to stop contacting you in writing. However, you will still owe the debt, but a collector who violates the FDCPA may face litigation.