Are you in debt? You’re not alone.
In the United States, the average American owes about $90,460 in debt. That number also varies by age as well.
Are you suffering from debt and are curious about what your rights are? While debt might feel overwhelming, there are debt collection laws that can help to protect you. Read on to explore all about debt collection laws, and when it’s time to contact an attorney today.
Debts That Are Covered
Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, you have household, family, and personal debts that are covered. These might include hospital costs, automobile purchases, outpatient care, etc. Attorneys such as https://consumerprotection.net/new-york-city-fdcpa-litigation-lawyer/ can help you navigate this.
It can include the debt collection of:
- Medical debts
- Credit cards
- Other debts in regards to household, personal, or family purposes
They don’t cover business debts. It’s in regards to lawyers, collection agencies, and debt buyers who collect debt. Some companies will buy past-due debts from businesses or creditors in order to try and collect them. They’re known as debt buyers, debt collection companies, or debt collection agencies.
How To Stop a Debt Collector From Calling You
Since you have debtor’s rights, you can write a letter to the collector in order to have them stop contacting you. Once they receive your letter, they can only contact you if it’s to say that there will be no further contact. Contact can occur if they’re letting you know about a specific action that they’ll take.
Keep in mind that just because you tell them not to contact you doesn’t mean that they won’t pursue other methods of collection. Debt collectors can actually form a lawsuit against you or send negative information to a credit reporting company.
When they contact you they must let you know:
- The amount you owe
- The name of the creditor
- That you can request the address and name of the original creditor
- That you can dispute debt
If they don’t provide this information, they must send you a letter within a few days of first contacting you. You can dispute all or part of the debt within a month. At this point, they can’t contact you until they provide proof of the debt in writing to you.
Since you’re able to ask for the information of the name and address of the original creditor, they can’t contact you during this time. This is if you make the request within a month. If you don’t recognize the name, find out if it has been purchased from another company.
Can They Contact Others for Debt Collection?
When you lawyer up, the debt collector must reach out to your attorney and not you. If you don’t have an attorney, they can reach out to your friends and family in regards to payment.
They’re allowed to ask them where you work, what your phone number is, and where you live. Debt collectors can’t ask for personal information about your income. They can normally only contact that person once.
In many cases, they can only tell your attorney and yourself that you owe money. If they do give information to your attorney or yourself, it must be accurate.
If a debt collector is aware that you have an attorney, all communication must be through them. If they do contact you while you have an attorney, let them know the information of who is representing you and that they should contact them.
Debt recovery is never allowed to include harassment. That includes all forms of contact including over the phone.
They’re also not allowed to contact you at an awkward time or place. They’re normally not allowed to call you after 9 pm or before 8 am. If they know that you’re not allowed to receive phone calls at work, then they can’t call you within those hours either.
Keep in mind that each state varies when it comes to debt collection laws. Some states might cover the original creditor.
Some states might also have Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices that could apply to debt collection. Your best option is to contact your state attorney general’s office to find out about the laws in your state.
Do I Need a Debt Lawyer?
A debt lawyer can help you when you’re struggling with financial debt. They’ll negotiate deals with the creditors in order to handle and avoid lawsuits.
If you’re headed to court, a debt lawyer can help you in this situation. Debt collectors win money when you either show up without an attorney or don’t show up at all. The problem with this is that you don’t know all of your rights, while a lawyer does.
A debt lawyer can make a case for you in order to make the judge view you as more favorable. Lawyers can also figure out whether a debt collector is using illegal practices to receive money from you. This is helpful when you’ve experienced threats or harassment from a debt collector.
Exploring the Different Debt Collection Laws
After exploring this guide, you should have a better idea of what to expect when it comes to the different debt collection laws. Decide if a debt lawyer is the right option for you in order to win your case.
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