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Consumer Rights

Many times when debt is overdue it is sold to a debt collector. It is important to understand that as a consumer you have rights when it comes to taking care of your overdue accounts.

  1. Communication between a debt collector and a consumer can only be done during the times of 8 a.m and 9 p.m. local time.
  2. Consumers have the right to cease communication with a debt collector, this is only valid if a written request has been submitted to the debt collection agency stating that they either wish to have no further communication or refuse to pay the alleged debt.
  3. Debt collectors may not cause a telephone to ring or engage any consumers in a conversation repeatedly. This especially includes contact with a third party, or someone other then the original consumer.
  4. As a consumer you have the right to ask a debt collector not to contact you at your place of employment. If debt collector is notified that you are not allowed calls for this matter at your place of employment then all calls must stop.
  5. Debt collectors are not allowed to contact you if they know you to be represented by an attorney. If a debt collector knows that you are being represented by an attorney they must cease all communication with you. If they find it necessary they may contact your attorney for further information on your account.
  6. Consumers have the right to ask for a verification of debt, if this is asked for by a written request the debt collector must provide this documentation within 30 days. Within five days of contact the collector is required to provide a notice through the mail with the following information:
    • The amount the debt is for.
    • Name of creditor by who the debt is owed to
    • That as the consumer you have 30 days to dispute the validity of the debt.
    • If the validity of the debt is not disputed that the debt collector can assume the debt is valid.
  7. Debt collectors are not allowed to use false or misleading representations. This includes a wide variety of things that would be illegal if a debt collector would use any of them.
    • They cannot claim to be law enforcement, or suggest that they may be connected with the
    • They cannot falsely represent the amount you owe on the debt.
    • They cannot falsely claim to be an attorney.
    • Cannot false credit information, this includes telling someone that you dispute the debt.
  8. Debt collectors are not allowed to publish the consumers name or address on a “bad debt” list government, or send any kind of documentation that would suggest these things.
  9. Debt collectors are not allowed to threatening arrest or legal action against a consumer on the bases of trying to collect a debt.
  10. No abusive or profane language is allowed during the collection of debt from a consumer.
  11. Debt collectors are not allowed to contact consumers by means of post card or the use of any language or symbol, the only means allowed is through phone conversation or mailed envelope to that consumers address.
  12. Name of the original creditor should be given to the consumer upon written request. This is information that pertains to the company in which the debt was originally payable to.
  13. Consumers have the right to dispute the debt; this can be in part or in full.
  14. Communication with third parties is allowed by a debt collector. This is only allowed when a debt collector is attempting to locate the consumer. No personal information or what the call is concerning can be disclosed to a third party without explicit approval.
    • Debt collectors are not allowed to give the collection agency’s name, unless asked.
    • State that the consumer there looking for owes a debt.
    • Not allowed to contact the person more then once unless the person original contacted request it or the debt collector believes that the incorrect information was given during the initial contact.

In Conclusion, taking care of your overdue accounts can be very stressful but it doesn’t have to be. As longs as the proper rules are enforced and there is proper communication between the consumer and debt collector, taking care of that overdue debt should be easy to handle.

By no means is the above a comprehensive list of the rules and regulations required by both state and federal law for debt collection. Please see FDCPA and any appropriate state website for further information regarding debt collection for more information.

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