UNFAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES
Both state and federal laws protect consumers from unfair debt collection practices.
Debt collection by telephone
A debt collector may contact you by phone only at convenient times – that is generally interpreted to mean between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.
Debt collection by mail
Your financial affairs are private. A collection agency may not communicate with you by postcard, because then anyone could read the message.
An envelope from a collection agency must contain neither language nor symbols to indicate that the communication relates to the collection of a debt.
Can I stop a collection agency from contacting me?
If you do not want the debt collector to contact you at all, you can simply:
- Notify them in writing that you refuse to pay; or
- Notify them in writing that you want them to stop all further communication; or
- Notify them of the name of your lawyer and tell them to communicate only with your lawyer.
Harassment by collection agencies
Federal law prohibits collection agencies from:
- Making threats
- Using obscene or profane language
- Publishing lists of “deadbeats,” and
- Making harassing phone calls
- Violators are subject to penalties of up to $1,000 per violation (which go to the government).