According to the Urban Institute, 1 in 3 adults, 77 million Americans in total, are currently in debt collection. This means that one-third of our nation must deal with the emotional pressure of mounting debt and receiving letters and calls from debt collectors on a regular basis.
According to the report, Nevada has nearly 50% of their residents in debt collection. Consider that while so many Americans are suffering from unrelenting debt, the wealthiest of the wealthy, roughly 600 people, less then one-hundreth of one percent own more then 50% of this nations wealth. This growing disparity in wealth carries with it the potential for both a civil and financial collapse. President Lincoln’s words that “a house divided cannot stand” applies not only to physical slavery but to economic slavery as well.
In the meantime, Americans need to know their rights. According to the Fair Debt and Collection Practices Act, debt collectors must comply with the law when contacting you. If collectors violate these rules, you can take legal action.
Collectors are prohibited from actions like these:
1. Call repeatedly or continuously, which is considered per se harassment. [15 USC 1692d] § 806(5).
2. Use obscene, profane, or abusive language.
3. Using harassing language. [15 USC 1692d] § 806(2)
4. Call you during late or early morning hours. Call before 8:00 am or after 9:00 pm [15 USC 1692c] § 805(a)(1)
5. Adding on any extra fees that your original credit or loan agreement doesn’t allow. [15 USC 1692f] § 808(1)
6. Call at times the collector knew or should know was inconvenient for you.
7. Calls at these times are considered harassment. [15 USC 1692c] § 805(a)(1)
8. Use or threaten to use violence if you don’t pay the debt.
9. Collectors can’t threaten violence against you. [15 USC 1692d] § 806(1)
11. Collectors are prohibited from threatening to sue you, garnish wages, take property, cause job loss, or ruin your credit when the collector cannot or does not intend to take the action. [15 USC 1692e] § 807(5)