People in Texas who are having trouble with debt will often feel fear and concern not just over what they are facing in their personal finances, but with the seemingly endless phone calls and letters they are expecting from creditors trying to collect the debt. While there are certain creditor’s rights when it comes to this, there are also rules they must follow. Knowing those rules can help to avoid over-the-line tactics that some unscrupulous and aggressive creditors will use in attempts at collection.
When a debt collector contacts a debtor regarding a debt, they are legally required to provide certain information: the creditor’s name; how much is owed; that the debt can be disputed; and that the name and address of the original creditor must be provided if it is asked for and it is different from the current creditor. A debt collector who does not give this information at the time of first contact must send this in writing with all the information within five days of the first time they made contact.
A debtor can dispute a debt all or in part. If debtors are not certain of how much is owed to a creditor, they can ask for more information regarding the debt. If the dispute is made in writing within 30 days of the receipt of the information, the debt collector is no longer allowed to call or make contact regarding the debt until there has been verification in writing regarding the debt. If the debtor requests that the name and address of the original creditor be provided within 30 days, the collector must also stop collection activities until giving that information. A debtor who does not recognize the creditor can ask if the debt was purchased from another company and the name of that company. Once all that information is provided, the debtor can compare it with records.
Given the amount of worry that a person struggling with debt will have to deal with, the creditor calls are bound to make that worse. With this in mind, those who are facing issues with debt should make sure they understand their options and rights if there was a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Act.
Source: consumerfinance.gov, “Are there laws that limit what debt collectors can say or do?,” accessed on Feb. 14, 2017