The Law Behind Collection Agencies

With today’s economy many people are faced with the hardship of paying overdue bills and making ends meet. Debt is a common term in America, and many people receive calls daily from collection agencies in attempt to collect on outstanding accounts.

Many businesses hire a third party debt collection agency to help collect past due accounts. These agencies collect money on behalf of the company and generate revenue on a commission basis by getting people to pay on their overdue accounts. Trying to stop harassing phone calls from creditors can be a difficult task.

Congress realized this was a problem and passed the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA). This federal act sets limitations on behaviors debt collectors may and may not engage in while attempting to collect debt from consumers. Additionally, it provides consumers who have been illegally harassed by debt collectors the right to sue for monetary and injunctive relief.

The collector must be an outside collection agency. The law applies to collection agencies or their representatives such as lawyers and not the original creditor.

Below is a list of things to consider when being contacted by a debt collector:

  • Debt collectors cannot contact you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
  • Debt collectors cannot call you at work without your permission.
  • Debt collectors cannot call your friends or relatives to tell them to give you a message.
  • Does the collector notify you immediately that they are trying to collect a debt?
  • Does the collector try to give a false impression that they are affiliated with the Federal government or state?
  • Do they threaten arrest, seizure, repossession, etc.?
  • Does the collector use abusive or profane language?
  • Does the collector refuse to disclose their identity?
  • Do they continue to call you after they know you are represented by an attorney?

The attorneys at Frank S. Buck, P.C., are dedicated to stopping debt collectors from engaging in unlawful and unacceptable behavior. If you have been harassed, or are unsure whether your debt collector’s actions qualify as harassment, please download this form and call our office at 205-933-7533 to speak with an attorney.