The year 2020 was a tough financial year for many in Fayetteville, and for some these financial troubles have followed them into 2021. If you lost your job or had your hours reduced, it is easy to fall behind on your bills, especially if you must make difficult decisions such as whether to pay the electric bill or pay for groceries this week. Matters are only made worse when unpaid bills lead to calls from debt collectors demanding you pay what you owe. However, debt collectors are limited in what they can do under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
What is the FDCPA?
The FDCPA is a federal that limits what debt collectors are permitted to do in their attempt to collect certain debts. The FDCPA prohibits debt collectors from abusing consumers or using unfair or deceptive means to try to collect debts from consumers. Some debts that fall under the umbrella of the FDCPA include mortgage debt, credit card debt and medical debt, among others.
How does the FDCPA restrict debt collectors?
The FDCPA restricts debt collectors in several ways. First, debt collectors are not permitted to contact debtors before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. In addition, if the debt collector knows you cannot take their call at work, they are not allowed to contact you there. Debt collectors cannot harass you or anyone else in an effort to collect the debt. If the debt collector knows that you have hired an attorney regarding the debt, the debt collector must contact the attorney, not you.
If you told the debt collector in writing not to contact you, the debt collector can only contact you to let you know they will no longer be contacting you and that they or the creditor may still take legal action against you. Note that debt collectors can still report your nonpayments to a credit reporting company.
Learn more about consumer law
This is only a brief overview of what debt collectors can and cannot do. This post is for educational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Those who want to learn more about consumer law are encouraged to explore our firm’s website for further information.