15 Common Violations of the FDCPA

A debt collector cannot:

1. Contact you after knowing you are represented by an attorney. If we represent you with regard to your debt, let the debt collector know. If they contact you after you have told them that we represent you, the debt collector has violated the law. Try to keep records of when you told the debt collector about your attorneys and when the calls occurred. Then call us immediately

2. Tell your friends, family, neighbors or any other third party about your debt. Unless you have expressly given permission, a debt collector cannot talk about your debt to anyone other than your attorney, the creditor or your spouse. If any of these people are contacted and informed about your debt, call us today.

3. Contact you at work knowing your employer doesn’t approve. Once the debt collector is aware that you cannot receive calls at work, they must stop calling you there.

4. Ask you to pay more than you owe. Debt collectors can get interest rates and fees wrong. This can happen in the form of a debt collection letter, a call, or even a lawsuit. Please send us all letters from any of your debt collectors for immediate review.

5. Ask you to pay interest, fees, or expenses not allowed by law. If you did not agree to it in your original loan agreement, the debt collector cannot charge it to you. Often, debt collectors threaten to get attorney fees, administrative fees or late fees which are often not a part of your contract. Contact us immediately with any of these issues.

6. Call repeatedly or continuously with the intent to harass. If you are receiving more than one call per day on average, let us know and keep call logs.

7. Call at times the collector knew or should know are inconvenient. If you have told a debt collector that you do not wish to be called during certain times, the debt collector must listen to you. If they ignored you, take notes of the date/time of the call and when you informed the collector that it was a bad time for you to talk.

8. Sue you in the wrong court. If you are ever sued on a debt, the debt collector may only sue you in two places: (1) where the contract was signed, or (2) where you currently live.

9. Threaten action they cannot or will not take. Collectors cannot threaten to sue you, garnish your wages, take property, cause job loss or ruin your credit without the right to do so. Common violations of this rule include threats to garnish your wages without a judgment, foreclose on your home, repossess your property without a lien, issue a warrant for your arrest, sue over 6 years after your last payment on the debt, or threaten to tell an employer/family member about the debt. If you feel your rights have been violated, or if you are unsure, call us immediately.

10. Harass your friends, family or neighbors. Debt collectors can only call your friends or relatives to get your location information and may only do so once. If they call anyone more than once or talk about your “debt,” contact us right away.

11. Fail to send written debt validation notice. Within 5 days of a debt collector’s first communication with you, they must notify you of your right to request verification “within 30 days” of the notice. If you did not receive this notice, please call today. If you did receive it, send a verification request (we can provide you with one).

12. Ignore verification request. A collector cannot continue to collect on a debt after you’ve made the verification request. After receiving your verification request, the collector must stop collecting until you have received verification. We can provide you with a verification request. Send it to your collectors when you get the 30 day notice.

13. Fail to disclose the communication is from a debt collector. In every communication, including phone calls, a debt collector must state that the debt collector is attempting to collect a debt and that any information will be used for that purpose. If you are receiving robocalls or messages that do not tell you it is from a debt collector, contact us immediately.

14. Continue collection attempts after receiving a cease communication notice. If you make a written request that a debt collector cease all communication, they may only contact you one more time to tell you they are stopping.

15. Call before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. This is one of the easiest violations to prove. If a debt collector calls you before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m., ask for a copy of your phone records from your provider and call us immediately.

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