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Plain Talk About Debt Collector Calls

by dmaxwell on Mar 5, 2010

There are thousands of us who receive debt collector calls and many people do not know their consumer debt collection rights.

Debt collectors often belittle, abuse or downright harass consumers which takes a toll on the uninformed consumer. But a good thing to know, is there are federal and state laws that were enacted to protect consumers from unscrupulous debt collectors.

Below is a snippet from the main watchdog who regulates what collectors can do and cannot do, the Federal Trade Commission.


Harassment. Debt collectors may not harass, oppress, or abuse you or any third parties they contact. For example, they may not:

  • use threats of violence or harm;
  • publish a list of names of people who refuse to pay their debts (but they can give this information to the credit reporting companies);
  • use obscene or profane language; or
  • repeatedly use the phone to annoy someone.

False statements. Debt collectors may not lie when they are trying to collect a debt. For example, they may not:

  • falsely claim that they are attorneys or government representatives;
  • falsely claim that you have committed a crime

Debt collectors also are prohibited from saying that:

  • you will be arrested if you don’t pay your debt;
  • they’ll seize, garnish, attach, or sell your property or wages unless they are permitted by law to take the action and intend to do so.

There is much more information in regards to debt collector calls at the FTC Website  I found these rules applicable to most of the clients we deal with  and since collectors get paid when they get paid, they tend to be a bit more bullish when it comes to getting money out of consumers.  Protect yourself by knowing your rights.


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