The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) prohibits debt collectors’ use of abusive, deceptive or unfair tactics to try to collect debts from consumers. Under the FDCPA, you, as a borrower, have certain rights, and debt collectors are obligated honor these rights and provide you with clear, truthful information.
To clarify just what your rights and protections are under the FDCPA, below, we’ll answer some of the most commonly asked questions about this law.
Answers about Your Rights & the FDCPA
Q – Are debt collectors allowed to contact me whenever they want?
A – No. By law, debt collectors cannot contact you after 9 pm and before 8 am. Additionally, if you don’t want debt collectors to contact you at work, tell them to stop, and they will legally have to abide by your request.
If you want debt collectors to stop contacting you altogether about a debt, send them a written request to do so. Again, they will have to abide by your request. Be aware, however, that putting an end to the contact won’t resolve the underlying debt.
Q – Can debt collectors contact other people about my debt?
A – Debt collectors can only contact other people in an effort to find out your address, contact information or place of employment. However, debt collectors typically are not permitted to contact any third party more than once, and during this contact, they are not allowed to discuss your debt.
The only parties with whom debt collectors can discuss your debts are your attorney and spouse (if you have either).
Q – What do debt collectors have to tell me under the FDCPA?
A – Per the FDCPA, debt collectors have to inform you of:
- Who they are and who the original creditor is
- The contact information of the original creditor
- Your right to dispute the debt.
It is illegal for debt collectors to misrepresent who they are (like, for example, by pretending they are a lawyer or law enforcement official) and to misinform you about your debt (like, for instance, by telling you that you owe far more than you do).
Q – What does the FDCPA prohibit debt collectors from doing?
A – Quite a bit. In fact, the FDCPA offers a number of important protections to people, including (but not limited to) prohibiting debt collectors from:
- Harassing people, such as by repeatedly calling them, using profane language with them, or even threatening them with violence/harm
- Making false statements to people, such as by claiming they work for a credit reporting bureau or that someone has committed a crime by not paying a debt (and then threatening that person with arrest)
- Engaging in other unfair practices, such as trying to assess additional fees not permitted by state law.
Q – What should I do if a debt collector violates my rights under the FDCPA?
A – Report the incident to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and then contact an attorney.
While the FTC can go after debt collectors who have violated your rights, an experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you resolve the underlying debt situation (as you will still be on the hook for these debts even if a debt collector violates your rights during the collection process).
Denver, Colorado Bankruptcy Lawyers at Garcia & Gonzales, P.C.
Are you looking for real relief from serious debt? If so, you can trust the experienced Denver, Colorado bankruptcy lawyers at Garcia & Gonzales, P.C. to provide you with experienced help, honest answers and the highest quality legal services.
To learn more about your best debt relief options, as well as how we can help you, contact us today by calling (303) 839-8888 or by emailing us using the drop-down contact form at the top of this page.
When you contact us, you will communicate directly with one of our attorneys, not a paralegal or legal assistant. We welcome Spanish-speaking individuals to contact us also – hablamos Español.