Debt collectors may not always employ the most honest of practices. In fact, some of the practices got so bad that federal government enacted the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act. The Federal Trade Commission has information about what constitutes abuse and how creditors are allowed to contact people in debt.
Debt relief is possible. People can always contact an attorney if debt is getting out of hand. In many situations, bankruptcy is a viable option that can prevent people from losing their homes, cars and other possessions. Also, bankruptcy can end creditor harassment.
Understand rights provided in the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act
The FDCPA places restrictions on what creditors are allowed to do. Some basic ones include:
- Not calling people late at night
- Not publishing names of debtors
- Not calling repeatedly
- Not using obscene or insulting language
- Not contacting employers, neighbors and friends to get information
If there is proof a collection agency engaged in anything illegal, then legal action is a possibility. People are also allowed to stand up for themselves while on the phone.
Make sure there is proof of the debt
Occasionally, people will amass so much debt they lose track of how much they owe exactly. Some collection agencies take advantage of this and will say people owe more than they actually do. It is within people’s rights to ask a creditor for documentation showing how much they owe. These measures are in place to protect citizens from fraud.
Find legal assistance
It can be stressful dealing with constant calls. Some people get so stressed out they avoid answering the phone at all costs. There is a better solution available. People who are in over their heads should find a bankruptcy attorney who can assist them in finding a solution that leaves everyone happy. Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy has assisted numerous people in the past and is a viable solution.