Complaints against Debt Collectors Increase Drastically Due To Ailing Economy
The ailing economy has debt collection complaints increasing drastically. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission has reported that complaints against debt collector practices have doubled over the past five years.
Complaints translate to harassment
The Federal Trade Commission reported that 71,000 people filed complaints against debt collectors in 2007 which is nearly double the number of complaints it received in 2003. Increased complaints generally translate to harassment – especially when debt buyers are involved.
Debt buyers are companies who purchase bad debt from debt collectors for pennies on the dollar – and often times have no regard for the rules of debt collection as established by the Federal Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) which, in part, says that debt collectors cannot:
Contact you before 8am or after 9pm
Contact you if you ask them, in writing, to stop
Contact you at work or on your cell phone if you ask them, in writing, to stop
Contact you repeatedly in an annoying, harassing or abusive fashion
Misrepresent the debt owed
Contact you when you are being represented by an attorney
Threaten you with legal action that is not permitted or actually being considered
Use abusive or profane language
Contact your family members, friends, neighbors or co-workers
Increase the debt owed by adding attorneys’ fees or interest
Continue to attempt collection on a debt which cannot be validated (for which a validation has been requested in writing)
There are other “don’ts”, but unfortunately, many consumers simply don’t know they have rights. It’s no secret that the U.S. economy is weak and that many consumers have delinquent credit card debt and legal analysts say that harassing debt collection practices are likely to increase in the coming years.
Don’t give in
Consumers should know that just giving in to the pressures of debt collectors is not the way to handle the situation. Debt collectors will simply try to wear you down in the hopes that you’ll pay. Many of these collectors cannot validate the debts they’re trying to collect, but they don’t want you to know that. In addition, most consumers don’t realize that debt collectors who violate the law may be liable to you for damages.
Find out how you can make the harassment stop and what damages you might be entitled to by contacting an experienced attorney whose practice focuses on debt collection and the FDCPA. Consultations are free, without obligation and are strictly confidential. Click here to contact an experienced debtor’s rights lawyer. We may be able to help.
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