We all have tough times and get behind the “eight ball” when it comes to our credit card debt and other debt obligations. Below is a typical question people have when it comes to the point that they begin to get letters and phone calls from those “pesky” debt collectors. Does this below question sound familiar to you?
“At what point do credit collection companies cross the line and begin harassing you about your debt obligations? In the past week, I’ve been contacted over a dozen times, sometimes at night and on the weekends. I’m getting calls at work from this same debt collection company and they have even contacted a friend of mine numerous times. How can I stop this?”
The answer is to arm yourself with knowledge. You and your friend need to fully understand and become very familiar with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. This is a federal law that prohibits debt collection agencies (including credit card companies) from using deceptive and abusive actions and tactics when it comes to contacting you. Understanding this law will help both you and your friend deal with them going forward.
By law, there are specific guidelines debt collection agencies must adhere to when trying to collect on outstanding debt. They have to follow specific provisions in the act that outline when they can contact you, who else they may contact and about what, and what tactics they can and cannot use when communicating with you.
This Act applies to all personal debt including, credit card debts, household debts, auto loans and other personal loans. It does not apply to any business debts you may have, however.
There are some very unscrupulous debt collection agencies that understand the law but still “bank” on consumers not having this knowledge and they intentionally use nefarious means to collect on the outstanding debt. A few of the company names that I hear about include First Choice Advantage and NCO Financial Systems. If either of these companies sound familiar to you, then you will want to take action. These are just two of dozens of national agencies that have been known to use bad practices. If you have been constantly contacted by debt collection agencies and your “gut” tells you that something about them is just not right, then arm yourself.
The Federal Trade Commission has oversight for this Act. They have stated to the U.S. Congress in years past that they receive more consumer complaints about debt collection agencies than any other industry. So, you’re not alone in your concerns with these companies.