The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) exists to help ensure that consumer debtors do not suffer unfair treatment at the hands of debt collectors. Under the FDCPA, a person contacting a debtor to collect a debt must follow certain guidelines and avoid certain debt collection tactics. It is important to note that the FDCPA applies primarily to third party collectors and not always to original creditors.
Often, debtors forget that the people calling or otherwise contacting them to collect on debt are also people working jobs, and possibly not very satisfied with their choices. This strain can encourage poor judgment on the part of collectors, who may bend the rules to secure a payment. In general, collectors must
- Identify themselves to the debtor every time they communicate
- Identify the original debtor, including name and address
- Acknowledge to the debtor that the communication is a debt collection attempt
- Inform the debtor of his or her right to dispute the debt
- Provide verification of the debt to the debtor
- File a proper lawsuit in the proper venue
If you believe that a debt collector is not following these rules when he or she communicates with you, you may legal action you can take to protect yourself. For many debtors, filing bankruptcy is a wise way to get out from under a pile of debt and also stop collections tactics.
An experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you assess your needs and determine a strong strategy to help you get back on top of your debt and out from under frustrating collection tactics.