There are few things that can feel more overwhelming than being stuck with a seemingly insurmountable amount of debt. It is without a doubt a stress-inducing situation to be stuck in, especially when debt collectors are breathing down your neck. There are all sorts of predatory practices that debt collectors will use to intimidate you and make you feel helpless. However, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) offers you legal protections from a variety of manipulative behaviors that debt collectors often utilize. If you have recently been subject to any type of abusive or threatening behavior from debt collectors, do not hesitate to contact a California debt collection harassment lawyer from Loker Law to get a free consultation.
What does the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act protect me from?
The FDCPA is a federal law that dictates acceptable behavior and practices from third-party debt collectors working on behalf of another person or entity. What this means is that as long as you are aware of your rights, you will be protected from a wide variety of malicious methods debt collectors may use to manipulate you. For example, one of the most common strategies debt collectors use to apply pressure is abusing the line of communication with you. This could mean constantly contacting you at inconvenient times and places, or even informing others parties like friends, family, and employers about your debt. However, thanks to the FDCPA, you are in control of when and how debt collectors can get in contact with you. If you want, you can even tell them to stop contacting you altogether. It is important to know that when it comes to dictating your terms for communication, you must submit an official written request to the debt collector making it clear what your wishes are.
Once a debt collector is in contact with you, there are certain types of coercive behavior and practices the FDCPA absolutely prohibits them from doing. This can include the use of inappropriate language or even threats of violence. Perhaps the most important thing they are not allowed to do is lie to you. Under no circumstances can they misinform you about the amount of debt you owe, any relevant statute of limitations, consequences you may be subject to under law, and who they are or who they are working on behalf of. Debt collectors also must give honest answers to any questions you may have for them. Although, they can choose to not answer them. If this is the case, make sure to get in touch with legal representation that will help clarify the situation as well as guide you throughout the process.