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FDCPA FAQ

According to the FDCPA, Can…

Q: Can Debt Collectors call me at work?
A: No, Debt Collectors cannot call you at work if your employer prohibits personal calls and the debt collector knows this.  If debt collectors are calling you at work you should tell them to stop and document the time that you told them to stop calling you at work.  Collection agencies and debt collectors love to harass consumers at work because they know they are afraid of losing the jobs.  The debt collectors often assume if they make the consumers afraid of losing money by losing their job they will be more apt to pay.  This type of behavior is against Federal Law.  For more information on your rights against being harassed at work, check out Jeffrey Hyslip’s legal guide, here.

Q: Can Debt Collectors call me at work after I ask them to stop?
A: No, as stated above, Debt Collectors cannot call you at work if you ask them to stop calling you at work!

Q: Can Debt Collectors call me and threaten that if I don’t pay I will be arrested?
A: No, Debt Collectors cannot threaten to arrest you if you don’t pay!  We find that the majority of debt collectors that are threatening to arrest consumers are scam debt collectors.  It is important that if a collection agency threatens to have you arrested you realize that, absent EXTREME circumstances, this will not happen.  For more information on scam debt collectors, please read this legal guide, here.

Q: Can Debt Collectors call me and tell me that they will garnish my wages?
A: No, Debt Collectors cannot call you and tell you that they will garnish your wages unless, and only under certain circumstances, they are an attorney or law firm.  Furthermore, if you don’t have an income, they cannot threaten to garnish your wages because you don’t have any.  Furthermore if your wages are exempt from garnishment (because they come from social security, etc. then they also cannot threaten to have them garnished.  If you are being harassed by a debt collector contact us today.

Q: Can Debt Collectors call me and threaten to put a lien on my property?
A: No, they cannot call you and tell you that they will put a lien on your property unless, and only under certain circumstances, they are an attorney or law firm and actually intend to put a lien on your property. Most of the time when debt collectors threaten this, they are doing it for purposes for intimidation and therefore it is a violation of the FDCPA.

Q: Can Debt Collectors call my friends?
A: No, generally speaking, Debt Collectors cannot call your friends or family members! Furthermore, it is a violation of the FDCPA if debt collectors disclose the fact that you owe a debt to anyone other than your spouse (if you are married). If debt collectors are calling third parties, contact us immediately. It is very likely that they are breaking the law.

Q: Are Debt Collectors allowed to contact my friends and tell them that I owe a debt?
A: No, Debt Collectors cannot contact your friends and tell them that you owe a debt! For more information about this, read a free legal guide here http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/what-to-do-if-debt-collectors-are-calling-your-friends-and-family-members—fair-debt-collection.

Q: Under the FDCPA, can Debt Collectors threaten to contact the police if I do not pay a debt?
A: No, generally speaking, Debt Collectors cannot threaten to contact the police if you do not pay a debt.

Q: Debt Collectors contact me once I am represented by an attorney regarding my debt?
A: No, Debt Collectors cannot contact you once you let them know you are represented by an attorney.[/toggle]

Q: Can Debt Collectors use vulgar language when speaking with me?
A: No, Debt Collectors cannot use vulgar language, swear at you, be rude to you, treat you unfairly, etc.

Q: Under the FDCPA, can Debt Collectors call me and insult me on the telephone?
A: No, Debt Collectors cannot insult you! You have the right to be treated with respect! If they insult you, they have violated the FDCPA and you should contact a consumer attorney immediately.

Q: Can Debt Collectors call me on the same day over and over?
A: No, Debt Collectors cannot call you over and over for purposes of harassment!

Q: Can Debt Collectors tell me they are an attorney or work for a law firm if they don’t?
A: No, Under the FDCPA, Debt Collectors cannot lie to you or make any misrepresentations. If they tell you they are an attorney or work for a law firm and they don’t that is a violation of the FDCPA. If this has happened to you then you need to contact us right away. First, to make sure that the debt collector is not a law firm and second to protect your rights against collection agency harassment.

Q: Can Debt Collectors threaten to sue me if they are not an attorney?
A: No, under the FDCPA, Debt Collectors cannot threaten to sue you if they are not an attorney!

Q: Can Debt Collectors threaten to take any action that they don’t intend to take against me?
A: No, Debt Collectors cannot threaten to take any action that they don’t intend to take against you. The FDCPA requires that they act honestly and respectfully when attempting to collect a debt!

Q: Can Debt Collectors contact me after I file bankruptcy and are provided notice that I filed?
A: No, Debt collectors are not allowed to contact you after you file bankruptcy. If they do, let your bankruptcy attorney know immediately.

Q: Under the FDCPA, who qualifies as a “Debt Collector”?
A: Debt Collectors, under the FDCPA, are basically any company or person collecting a debt that they didn’t originate. So, for example, Original Creditors (the company you borrowed the money from) do not qualify as debt collectors and are not subject to the FDCPA.

Q: Can Debt Collectors demand that I pay them more money than I owe?
A: No, Debt Collectors cannot demand that you pay them more money than what you owe. Of course, the amount you owe would include legal late fees, interest, etc.

Q: Under the FDCPA, can Debt Collectors use any deceptive means to collect a debt or attempt to collect a debt?
A: No, Debt Collectors cannot do this! Its interesting, this has come up recently because debt collectors sometimes use Facebook when collecting debts. See this article for more information on how debt collectors are using Facebook to collect debts and/or harass consumers. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40259999/ns/business-personal_finance/t/woman-doesnt-bill-collector-facebook/

Q: Under the FDCPA, can Debt Collectors pretend to send me something that looks like a lawsuit that isn’t?
A: No, Debt Collectors cannot do this! They have to treat you honestly and fairly under the FDCPA!

Q: How do I build a case against a debt collector?
A: This article, written by Jeffrey Hyslip should help you. –> http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/how-to-build-your-fair-debt-collection-practices-act-case-against-a-collection-agency.

Q: Can you summarize the FDCPA for me in a few sentences?
A: Sure. Basically, under the FDCPA debt collectors are allowed to contact you to collect a debt as long as they treat you fairly, are not rude, do not lie, and respect all of your requests. They cannot lie to you, threaten to do anything they don’t intend to do, or make any misrepresentations while collecting debt. So, while the FDCPA understands that consumers need to pay their debts, it requires that debt collectors act respectfully while doing so.

Q: Should I have to pay an attorney to defend my rights?
A: In our opinion, no! Since the Debt Collector will pay your attorney fees if you win, your attorney should be willing to handle your case on a contingency fee basis (meaning he/she only gets paid if you win) if he/she really believes you have a good case.