If you have mounting debts, you’ve probably become all to familiar with receiving calls from debt collectors. You may feel like your phone rings at all hours of the day. You’re tired of it. You wonder if debt collectors can just call you whenever they want to. Aren’t there some rules about this?
Understanding the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act does limit when debt collectors can call you. They can’t call you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. unless you agree to that. Debt collectors also can’t contact you at work if you tell them you can’t receive calls there.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act also protects consumers from having debt collectors threaten to harm them. It restricts debt collectors from using obscene or profane language during their calls. Debt collectors also can’t constantly use the phone to harass you. They can’t:
- Lie about the amount of money you owe
- Falsely claim you face arrest or legal action about your debt if that isn’t true
- Claim to be attorneys or government representatives to intimidate you
When debt collectors contact you, they must tell you how much money you owe and who you owe that money too. They also need to let you know what to do if you don’t think the debt they are contacting you about is yours.
Finally, debt collectors only can talk to you or your spouse about your debt, no one else.
What debt collectors can do
However, debt collectors aren’t limited to contacting you only by phone. They can contact you:
- By mail
- By text
- By email
Stopping collection calls and notices
One way you can stop debt collection calls and notices is to file for bankruptcy. Filing for bankruptcy includes an automatic stay, where debt collectors and creditors can’t contact you until your bankruptcy is resolved. You also can get thousands of dollars of debt discharged through a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or restructure your debt with a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
You shouldn’t have to feel distressed over creditors constantly calling you or harassing you. You do have rights. And sometimes, bankruptcy is the best option for you to move forward and get a fresh start and avoid further collection calls.