Understanding the Fair Debt Collection Processes Act

May 16, 2016

If you have debt, there are certain rights that you still have when a collector attempts to retrieve that debt. Understanding these rights will protect you from harassment, illegal debt collection methods, and inappropriate methods of contact. The Fair Debt Collection Processes Act protects consumers by law against these instances.

The Fair Debt Collection Processes Act was first passed in 1977, and has been amended periodically to stay current. The act applies to third party debt collectors, who are acting on behalf of the original creditor.

Understanding the Fair Debt Collection Processes Act from your St. Petersburg Debt Collection Defense Lawyer

The Act dictates certain behaviors that are and are not allowed by debt collectors in relation to the consumer. Under the FDCPA, a debt collector is limited to certain times of day to contact a consumer. Unless specifically arranged or approved by the consumer, the debt collector can only contact the consumer by phone between the hours of 8:00 am and 9:00 pm. Once they reach the consumer, they must state their purpose, and cannot misrepresent themselves as an attorney or legal officer. They cannot continuously call or engage the consumer in conversation with the intent to annoy or harass the consumer. If the consumer requests in writing that they wish to no longer be contacted, the debt collector can no longer continue to contact the consumer. In this case, litigation should be the only contact.

The law also protects your privacy. A debt collector cannot contact you at work if they have been informed that it is not acceptable or asked by your employer to stop. They can contact your neighbors or family members for information on how to reach you, but they absolutely cannot reveal information regarding your debt to a third party. They cannot publish your name on any type of list indicating that you are in debt.

Finally, the Act protects your rights to respect in the way you are communicated with. Profane language and abusive verbiage are illegal, and cannot be used by the debt collector in their conversations with the consumer. The debt collector cannot threaten arrest or legal action if these are not a possible outcome. They also cannot threaten to publish false information on the consumer’s credit report. For mail contact, the debt collector must address the consumer by name only, and not insulting or embarrassing images or names.

As a consumer, you have a right under the Fair Debt Collection Processes Act to request validation of a debt. All communication from your debt collector must cease until you have received this validation.

If you feel as if your FDCPA rights are being violated, the Law Office of Michael A. Ziegler is here to help. Contact your St. Petersburg Debt Collection Defense Lawyer, Michael Ziegler, Today. Once you have obtained an attorney, the debt collector is no longer allowed to contact you directly and can work directly with us to ensure that you have the best protection possible for your financial interests.

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About the Author

Ziegler Diamond Law: Debt Fighters, provides effective legal services to consumers in Clearwater, Florida, and throughout the Tampa Bay area who are facing home foreclosure, unmanageable debts, debt collector harassment, or other debt-related problems.