Legal Aspect of Debt Collection Practices

When you owe a debt and a certain problem upsets your financial situation, making repayment impossible, how do you tackle the situation? It becomes even more difficult to tackle if you face unfair and abusive practices from the lender. Do you have any means to safeguard yourself from such practices? What do you do to remedy the situation?

To find the answer to this, it is necessary to consult legal practitioners working with a law firm, specializing in consumer laws, in your area. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) makes certain practices unlawful for any debt collector/collection agency. Here are the details of which practices are within this category.

No collector/collection agency may harass, abuse, or oppress the debtor, or any related party. This includes –

  • Using threats of violent/harmful activities or obscene/profane language
  • Publishing a list comprising non-payers names
  • Annoying you with repeated phone calls

Providing false statements regarding the matter is also unlawful, e.g.

  • Presenting themselves as legal/governmental/credit reporting company representatives
  • Claiming (falsely) you committed a crime or that you owe an exaggerated amount
  • Indicating that the papers are legal forms, or not, when the opposite is true

They also do not have the legal authority to say certain things – the debtor would face arrest; or would face seizure, garnishment, attachment or selling of assets, until they get the legal permission to do so; or would face legal action, unless there is legal permit, and they intend to sue you.

Unfair, and prohibited, practices that the debt collector may not involve in are as follows.

  • Trying to collect charges and fees that you do not owe (unless permissible by law)
  • Taking, or threatening to take, property (unless permissible by legal means)
  • Depositing a post-dated check before the agreed up on time
  • Giving false credit information to any entity
  • Using a false company name

If a particular collector/collection agency involves in any of the abovementioned practices, you need to find a reputed and reliable debt collection law firm immediately. The legal practitioners working in this field may help you assess whether you can sue the collector/agency for damage recovery.

Advice and representation from a competent law firm ensures prevention of harassing, abusive, or unfair practices. However, you must keep in mind that you just prevent these practices; you still have to repay the loan. Your legal advisor may prevent these adverse situations, but you still need to find a plan for repayment.