Debt Collectors

Posted By: Dr. Frugal in Credit on 08/15/2007 at 14:19:41

Debt collectors are third parties hired by a lender to attempt to collect amounts you owe when you're late with your payments; they can be lawyers or companies in the business of collecting unpaid accounts. If your account gets turned over to a debt collector, you can save yourself a lot of grief if you're familiar with your rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the federal law that specifies what third-party debt collects can and cannot do in their attempts to get you to pay up.

Collectors are allowed to contact you in person, by phone, mail, telephone, telegram, or fax, but they're not allowed to contact you at inconvenient times, such as before 8am or after 9pm, unless you agree to those times. Debt collectors can't threaten, harass, badger, or abuse you or use false or misleading information. The law includes a long list of specific restrictions governing third-party debt collectors. If you're being harassed by or experiencing other problems with a debt collector, report it to your state attorney general office and the FTC.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act doesn't apply to the employees of the creditor that you owe. They're governed by state laws, which vary from state to state. Consult the consumer information section of your state's website for information about your rights.

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