When you're buried under a mountain of debt, it can feel debilitating. Every phone call sends your heart racing and a trip to the mailbox becomes a dreaded event. On top of all the stress of trying to pay bills and make ends meet, you have collection agencies pestering you. If any of this sounds familiar, know that there is hope. Not only is it possible to get a fresh financial start but you also have rights when it comes to dealing with collection agencies.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was enacted to put limits on collection agencies and define creditor harassment. For example, a collection agencies must always:
- Identify themselves to you and tell you the original creditor's name and address.
- Provide you with proof of the debt.
- Tell you that you have a right to dispute the debt.
The FDCPA also outlines some of the things they cannot do:
- They cannot call after 9 o'clock at night or before 8 o'clock in the morning.
- They are prohibited from calling you incessantly in order to annoy you.
- Once you tell them you don't want to be contacted, they have to stop.
- If you are represented by an attorney, they can't contact you directly.
- They aren't allowed to use language that's considered profane or abusive.
- They are forbidden from publishing false information on your credit report.
If you're ready to stop the calls or get a fresh financial start, you may want to think about sitting down with a bankruptcy attorney.