Your Rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FCCPA). In 1975, Congress enacted laws for consumers in order to protect them from unsavory debt collection practices. The law applies only to debt collectors or attorneys
in the debt collection business. That is why we recommend you perform an annual “check up” on your credit reports to ensure the information on there is being reported accurately. To obtain a free copy of your credit report, simply go to
www.annualcreditreport.com to find out.
Below are some of the most Frequently Asked Questions:
- What is harassment under the FCCPA?A debt collector may not harass you, period. Harassment is against the law. When a collector goes outside of the law, this is considered harassment. Some examples of abuse are: the use of abusive language, contacting you late at night, threatening you or threatening to take legal action when they have no intention on doing so. If a debt collector attempts to collect a debt from you against any of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act guidelines, this can be considered harassment.
- What are the legal ways a debt collector can contact me?In this law where rules set down by Congress in which debt collectors must follow. For example: They may only call you between the hours of 8:00 am and 9:00 pm; they may leave a message on your voice mail; they may contact you at work, however in this situation, they may not share any personal information with anyone other than you. Furthermore, if a debt collector cannot reach you by phone, they may call your employer, friends, or family to locate you.
If, on the other hand, you do not want to receive calls from theses debt collectors, you can write to them and tell them to stop. At Nationwide Debt Reduction, we instruct our clients to ensure this is sent via certified mail with a return receipt and that it is sent to a person.
- Is it true a debt collector can garnish my wages and/or seize my property?Yes, under the law this is a true statement. However we have yet to see any debt collector do this. The tactic most often used by debt collectors in today’s world is to get a judgment against you.
- Can I be threatening with legal action?Debt collectors can take legal action against you, such as contacting an attorney and getting a judgment against you. What they cannot do is pretend they are going to do this, when in fact they really have no intention of doing so.
- What is a Judgement?A judgment is when the debt collector turns the debt over to an attorney who goes to court and gets a judgment (generally refers to the considered evaluation of evidence in the formation of making a decision) against you to see if in fact you do owe this debt or not. You are usually given 30 days to respond to such letters.
In order to save time and money, most attorneys will accept an offer in compromise in order to avoid having to go to court to settle these matters.
- What happens if I do not have the money to pay the collection agency?Most debt collectors typically work on a commission basis. Therefore, the more they can collect from you, the more money they make. You could send them partial or smaller payments, however these agencies are under no obligation to accept anything except payment in full. This is why when faced with a situation such as this you should immediately contact your attorney or call Nationwide Debt Reduction, and let us help you. Our toll free number is 1-800-890-6658.
- My wife and I are now divorced. Do I have to pay for his/her debt?This is a “sticky” question, and usually depends upon when the debt was incurred. Usually, during divorce proceedings, a judge will determine who is responsible for the debt and who is responsible for paying it back.
Remember, debt collectors have one goal in mind, getting you to pay back your debt. They DO NOT really care how they achieve that goal. Just remember you have rights too. If you feel those rights have been or are being violated, contact your attorney right away or let one of our debt relief professionals help you.