Debt collection itself is certainly legal, but it does have to happen in a specific way. Prior to 1978, there were instances of unfair collection tactics, and so the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was put into effect. The goal was to eliminate unfair actions, abuse and deception by debt collectors.
For example, there were issues with debt collectors, contacting people at inopportune times. As such, the Act makes it so that they are not allowed to call you at what is considered an unusual time, which generally means any time after nine in the evening or eight in the morning. It’s also important to know that they have to consider your time zone if the two of you are not in the same time zone during the call.
In some cases, there can be financial issues with the way that debt collectors operate. Maybe they misrepresented exactly what you owed or asked you to pay more. Or perhaps they tried to add fees, expenses or interest charges that go above the amount allowed by law. They need to be fair, honest and transparent with you about what you need to pay.
The abuse can also come from the attitude of the debt collectors themselves. They are not supposed to use abusive, profane or obscene language at any time. They are not supposed to call you repeatedly, so that it becomes a form of harassment. They also cannot threaten you in any way or claim that violence may be used in order to convince you to pay your debt.
What are your options?
These are just a few examples of ways the debt collectors can be in violation of this Act. If you believe that they have violated it, along with your rights, then it’s important to know about all the legal options at your disposal.