The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is the federal law that governs how debt collection agencies can operate. The FDCPA protects consumers from abusive debt collection practices by debt collectors. The Act gives consumers protection with regards to personal, family, and household debts, including money consumers owe on a personal credit card account, auto loan, medical bill, or mortgage. There has been a lot of litigation over what exactly is considered “harassment” or “abuse” under the FDCPA. Below are examples of tactics that are definitely considered harassment and abuse by the FDCPA:
?Debt collectors cannot use threats of violence to collect a debt. This prohibition also covers threats against your children, friends, co-workers, pets and other 3rd parties.
?Bill collectors cannot use profane or abusive language including name calling, racial and/or ethnic slurs.
?Collectors cannot call you repeatedly. This not only applies to actual phone conversations, but also to causing the phone to ring and then hanging up on you. Oddly, enough many of my clients have complained that debt collectors call and hang-up as a method of harassment.
?Debt collectors must tell you who is contacting you.
?Any other debt collection conduct where the “natural consequence” is to harass, oppress, or abuse. Courts have found the following conduct to be violations: (1) threats to contact 3rd parties; (2) telephone messages left with neighbors when the collector could have reached the consumer directly; (3) use of words like “liar”, “deadbeat”, and “crook”.
If you are being harassed by debt collectors, document all of the debt collectors’ communications. And if the debt collector does anything untrue, harassing, oppressive, or abusive, please California Consumer Protection Attorney, Todd M. Friedman at (877) 449-8898 for a free consultation. If I agree to handle your FDCPA case, you won’t have to pay me any money up front. The debt collector found to be in violation must pay my attorney fees.