A debt collection agency may reach out to you if you have an outstanding debt. Whether you have had a medical emergency or lost your job, you need to know what debt collection companies can and cannot do. Federal laws protect you from rogue debt collection agencies that engage in illegal activities or harass consumers. If your rights have been violated during the debt collection process, you need to contact a New York credit attorney to discuss your legal options.
What to do if a Debt Collector Contacts You
Receiving calls from a stranger who has your critical information can be stressful. The situation can get even more frightening, particularly when the stranger (debt collector) gets aggressive or threatens you. In most cases, you may become a victim of their tactics. When you receive a call from a debt collection agency, it is essential to respond in a manner that will ensure your legal rights are protected.
The first thing to do is to confirm whether the debt is valid. Debts that are past the statute of limitations are not eligible for collection. In most cases, the debt collector may still try to recover the debt even after the lapse of the statute of limitations.
If the debtor collection agency uses the wrong information or calls you after the expiration of the statute of limitations, you can dispute the validity of the debt. A New York debt relief attorney can help you confirm the statute of limitations expiration date or review the information provided by the debt collection company for accuracy.
Forms of Prohibited Debt Collection Practices
Debt collection companies have tactics to recover debts on behalf of creditors. However, there are several illegal debt collection practices. They include:
- Harassment: Debt collectors are prohibited from harassing, abusing, or oppressing you during the debt collection process. Specifically, they are not allowed to publish a list of debtors with outstanding bills, use profane or obscene language, threaten you, or frequently make calls to annoy you (harassment). In fact, they should never call you more than seven times in a week.
- False Statements: Debt collectors cannot use misleading information during the debt collection process. For instance, they should not claim to be government representatives, members of a law enforcement agency or provide untrue information about the amount of money you allegedly owe.
- Unfair Practices: Communications through a postcard, collecting more money than what is owed, or making you accumulate more charges by failing to disclose the purpose of the call are some of the prohibited unfair practices.
How to Prevent Debt Collection Agencies from Contacting You
If you receive calls from debt collectors, you can sue the company making the phone calls, provided you didn’t allow them to contact you by phone. If a creditor or a debt collector violates the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, they may have to pay fines of up to $,1500, per call. You can also contact the creditor asking them to terminate any form of contact.
If a creditor or debt collector has violated your rights, contact Mizrahi Kroub LLP to speak to a New York credit attorney to find out whether you have a case. We are ready to ensure your rights are protected and you receive maximum compensation.
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