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Know Your Rights Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)

Posted on in Bankruptcy Attorney
Know Your Rights Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)

When you have outstanding debt, you often get calls from collection agents who are tasked with getting you to repay the money you owe. These people have a difficult job – it can be stressful to locate individuals with debt to hunt down the money their companies have the right to collect, whether they are the original lenders or they have purchased the debt from them. But sometimes, these calls can become unbearable.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) exists to keep debt collection calls civil. Under this federal law, debt collectors are prohibited from engaging in certain behaviors while on the phone with the individuals they call. If a collector violates this law, the indebted individual can have grounds for a harassment claim. If you are the target of these calls, familiarize yourself with what harassment from a debt collector entails and if you feel your rights under the FDCPA are being violated, consider working with a bankruptcy attorney to file a harassment claim.

Defining Harassment

The behavior that constitutes harassment can be difficult to define. Basically, any type of inappropriate or incessant, unwanted communication can be deemed to be a form of harassment. Under the FDCPA, a variety of behaviors are considered to be harassment. These behaviors include the following:

  • Calling before eight am or after nine pm;
  • Lying about the debt or what the collector can do to collect it;
  • Making empty threats to the call recipient;
  • Using foul or obscene language, or even simply raising his or her voice to the recipient;
  • Calling the individual at his or her job more than once;
  • Attempting to locate the individual through a third party more than once;
  • Asking the individual to pay more than he or she owes, to pay a fee unrelated to the debt, or to pay interest on the debt; and
  • Implying or stating that he or she is connected with the court or law enforcement.

Generally, if you feel you are being harassed by a debt collector, you probably are. Certain points of the language in the law are open to interpretation, so discuss your experience with your lawyer to determine if you are, in fact, being harassed by your debt collection agent. If he or she is calling you more than once each week or at times that he or she should know are not convenient for you, you are being harassed.

Work With an Experienced Waukegan Area Bankruptcy Attorney

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, know your rights. You have the right to be free from harassment at the hands of debt collectors. Unfortunately, not all debt collectors play by the rules. If you are being harassed, discuss the harassment with one of the experienced bankruptcy attorneys at Newland & Newland, LLP during your free legal consultation in one of our five offices, located in Arlington Heights, Libertyville, Cary, Itasca and Suite 3700 of the prestigious 180 North LaSalle street building in Chicago.

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