FDCPA can't be enforced on the creditors who’re contacting the debtors to collect their own debts. There are lots of misconceptions about what a creditor can do and can’t do against a debtor. If you’re thinking that the numerous calls that you’re getting from the persons are your creditors, then you’re wrong. They’re the third party debt collectors, not your original lender to whom you owed money. FDCPA law is designed to protect you from third-party debt collectors. The law doesn’t apply to your original lender or its employees. You’re bound to pay your original creditors and they’ve right to ask you about the debts.
However, creditors have a limit, they can’t use tactics to encourage a debtor to make extra payments. It’s very important to understand the debt collection process in a right way and what a creditor can do and can’t do against you so that you can protect yourself.
What actions a creditor may take against you
When you fail to make your debt payments, then the creditor may take some action against you. Following are some actions that a creditor can take to get the money back:
- Your creditors’ have the right to send you a default notice after 3-6 missed payments.
- Your creditor can give you calls or send you letters to get the money back.
- The creditor can send you doorstep collectors.
- Your creditors have the right to ask an internal or external debt collection agency to collect the debt on their behalf.
- The creditor can take money from any connected account of yours.
- The creditor can apply for a CCJ (County Court judgment)
What actions a creditor can’t take against you
- As per the data protection law, a creditor can’t talk to your employer, family, friends, and neighbors.
- Creditors can not call you every hour or day after day to harass you. You can request them to contact via mail. In that case, make sure you check your emails every time they send them.
- Your creditor can’t follow you on social media.
- If the judge accepts your offer that you have made after receiving County Court paperwork, then the creditors have to accept that.
What is debt collectors’ harassment?
There are many people who have been forced to relocate and change the phone connection to avoid creditor harassment. It’s very annoying getting calls from collectors while at the office and especially when they’re trying to mislead you.
In this regard, the Government has structured a regulatory body known as the Federal Trade Commission to protect the consumer right of the debtor. The Act prohibits the collectors from harassing the debtor by making foul calls or using abusive language to retrieve the owed amount. If you're aware of the guidelines, then you can effectively stop the collectors from harassing you.
Illegal practices collectors shouldn’t do
Know the below practices to stay safe from the third-party collection harassment:
- The collector can only contact you before 8 am and after 9 pm.
- When the debt collector receives a letter to cease communication from the debtor, then he is liable to obey it.
- The collection agency cannot contact the debtor at his workplace without his prior permission.
- The collector has to validate the debt on request of the debtor.
- You can tell the collection agency to contact your attorney regarding the matter, and they're bound to follow it.
- They aren’t allowed to give you threats or use any profane language.
- They’ve no permission to call you repeatedly.
- A debt collector shouldn’t claim falsely that he/she is a Government's representative.
- They shouldn’t claim that you’ve committed a criminal offense.
- They may inform you that they’re working for a credit reporting company.
- They can’t mislead about the actual amount of money you owe.
- The debt collector has to reveal the itemized interest and fees applied to the debt owed.
- They can’t claim that you can be arrested if you don’t make debt payments.
- They shouldn’t provide false credit information.
- They can’t provide a false information about the company.
Read more - FDCPA violations: How do you protect your interest?
Once you have knowledge of the laws, you can be aware of the limitations and how you can tackle the creditors as well as the third party collectors. Your knowledge will help you to take immediate action against the creditors or collectors. It’s advisable to keep yourself updated about the law or seek professional guidance before taking any action.
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