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Fair Debt Collection Act protects debtors from bill collectors

Texans dread the thought of debts. However, sometimes due to medical or other financial emergency, the person may need additional finances, which may lead to an unplanned debt. People may try to make regular payments, but financial conditions may not allow them to repay the debt in whole. While people may be stressed about timely payments to the financial company, calls from the debt collector may cause more strain.

A recent report of a nonprofit center states that one in every seven Americans is pursued by a debt collector. However, every person should remember that the person has certain rights, which are provided under the Fair Debt Collection Act. Sometimes, a debt collector may call a person's family and harass them. However, in the U.S., the law does not allow a debt collector to harass, intimidate or embarrass a debtor. This includes shouting profanity, calling between 9:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. or lying. Also, if the bill collector is informed that the person's workplace has a policy against such calls, the collector has to comply.

Mostly, a person who calls on behalf of the creditor does not tell the name of the collection agency and tries to get the person's bank details to withdraw the amount from the bank. However, the person should try to get all details of the debt in writing. Also, the person can report the name of the collection agency for using abusive practices. The person can also complain to the debt collector in writing.

In such cases, according to the Federal Trade Commission, the debt collector can contact the person only in two instances. The debt collector can contact the person to inform that it would not contact the person again or secondly to notify the person that it may take another approach. The person should always keep a copy of the letter and obtain a return receipt of any communication with the creditor.

If the creditor violates the law, the person can avail certain legal remedies.

Source: U.S. News, "How to Deal With Harassing Calls From a Bill Collector," Geoff Williams, May 13, 2014

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