The Ins & Outs of the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
Many scammers have tried to take advantage of people who are trying to rebuild their finances and pay off outstanding debts. They may call you and explain they are calling about a loan you never paid off. By using aggressive, threatening language and tactics, they attempt to coerce you into making a payment on a loan that may not even exist. When you receive a call from a debt collector, it is important that you are aware of how the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) protects you.
Victims have reported receiving phone calls from alleged debt collectors claiming to represent a known, or at least legitimate-sounding, lender. In fact, some have even tried to use CashAdvance.com, despite the fact that CashAdvance.com does not actually conduct lending. Scammers often act as though there is not much time to act, attempting to rush you into making a thoughtless decision.
This brings up an important part of the FDCPA. When you send written notice, a debt collector must always send written verification of who they are and what the debt is that you owe. Anyone who is unwilling to do so is not a legitimate debt collector, or is breaking the law.
There are a number of actions that collectors are legally prohibited from taking when contacting debtors. These include:
- Collectors may not call before 8am or after 9pm.
- If you send written notice that you want debtors to stop calling you, they must comply.
- A debt collector cannot harass you through repeated phone calls.
- Once you notify collectors that work hours are not a time in which you can be contacted, a debt collector cannot call you during these hours.
- Once a collector has received notice to send written verification of a debt, they can no longer contact you until the verification has been mailed.
A debt collector cannot threaten you with criminal charges either, but you should be aware of what types of criminal charges may be applicable to you. Check the Consumer Resource section for the information related to your home state. Legal penalties are indicated on the Laws and Regulations page of each state. Additionally, collectors cannot use profanity when speaking to you, tell anyone other than your spouse or attorney about the debt, and cannot threaten to put you on a “bad debtor” list.
For more information, check some other articles from the CashAdvance.com Scam pages or visit the FTC, which enforces the FDCPA. If you feel you may have been contacted or victimized by an unlawful debt collector, you should file a complaint with the FTC and the Better Business Bureau.
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