Our firm works with consumers struggling to regain financial balance. When an individual or family falls behind on paying bills, late notices arrive in the mail and your phone starts to ring — repeatedly. The law protects consumers from unfair debt collection practices. Understanding your right to stop harassment from collectors is important.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) prohibits abusive debt-collection practices, provides a structure for creditors to pursue valid claims and gives consumers the right to receive fair and accurate notice of debt owed by them without threat of harassment.
Being behind on loan and credit card payments is stressful. Being threatened over a debt that may or may not be valid compounds the difficulty. Here are some of the measures prohibited by the FDCPA:
- Debt collectors may not harass or threaten you, or other parties they contact. This means that obscene language and use of force or threatened force are prohibited.
- Untrue statements may not be used to collect a debt, including personally misrepresenting the identity and purpose of the debt collectors or for whom they work, how much is owed or the status of the case, among other information.
- Debt collectors may not threaten legal action they could not fairly take because of the debt, nor can they warn of garnishment unless they have a legal right to garnish.
- At no time can debt collectors seize or threaten to take your property unless they have the legal right do so.
Nothing under the FDCPA invalidates the right of an agency or creditor to collect money rightly owed. Instead, the FDCPA enforces a civilized, fair method of debt collection. If you are being harassed by a creditor in Jacksonville, Florida, seek experienced legal advice. There are legal remedies available to you under the FDCPA.
Attorney Shane Herbert also contributed to this blog post.