Debt Collector Harassment
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) prohibits debt collector harassment and debt collector calls outside normal business hours. While the law gives you some rights, it does not give you the right to avoid your debt. The FDCPA covers only personal and household debts, but not business debts. Typical personal debts are vehicle loans and credit card debts.
Debt Collector Harassment Prohibited
Debt collectors, otherwise known as bill collectors or collection agencies, cannot harass or abuse you, nor can they engage in deceptive or unfair practices in their attempt to collect the debt. If a bill collector calls you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m., you can write a letter telling the bill collector to stop. It is a good idea to send the letter by certified mail and to keep a copy of the letter. Once the debt collector receives your letter, the debt collector must stop calling you outside the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 p.m., but can continue to call you between those hours.
Allowed Debt Collector Actions
A debt collector can call you at work. If your employer does not allow such calls, you can tell the debt collector that you are not allowed to receive debt collection calls at work. While you can do so by phone, it is a good idea to do so by certified letter. Upon receiving this instruction, the debt collector must stop calling you at work.
Resources To Fight Debt Collector Harassment
Can a debt collector lie? No. They cannot pretend to be someone else. They cannot threaten to put you in jail. Such tactics are violations of the FDCPA. Fighting against a violation of the FDCPA starts with your actions. You can contact the Federal Trade Commission or the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. You may also hire an attorney to handle the debt collector harassment case. If you win, you have the right to make the debt collector pay your attorney fees.
The following links are valuable resources in protecting your rights under the FDCPA:
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Attorney Gigiano is located in Medina County, where he practices bankruptcy and civil litigation. If you have questions about this or other questions you need answered by an experienced Medina County lawyer, please call Attorney Daniel F. Gigiano at 330-336-3330.