Limits on Creditors' Rights Help Protect Debtors.
Debt Collection & the Law:
The practices of debt collectors are regulated in order to avoid abuses. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, for instance, a collection agency may not:
- Contact third parties other than the debtor's attorney or a credit bureau for any reason other than to locate the debtor, and in such contact they must state their own names but cannot give the collection agency's name unless asked directly, and they cannot state that they are calling about a debt.
- Contact the debtor directly if he or she is represented by counsel, unless the debtor gives the collection agency specific permission to do so.
- Contact debtors at work if it is known that the employer bans collection calls while on the job, contact debtors before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. or at another inconvenient time or place, or repeatedly make contact without identifying themselves as bill collectors.
- Threaten or use violence against the debtor or another person or use obscene or profane language.
- Publish a debtor's name on a "blacklist."
- Lie about the debt, their identity, the amount owed, or the consequences for the debtor, or send documents that resemble court papers.
- Offer incentives to disclose information.
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