The number of debt collection agencies is quickly increasing. However, despite the increase, 35% of the agencies are said to do things which they are not allowed to do. This is according to recent research performed by Forbes International.
The Federal Trade Commission is said to receive more complaints concerning debt collectors than any other industry every year. This is despite the fact that Fair Debt Collection Practises Act has been in existence since the 1977 to help in curbing unethical behaviour and abuse.
As a consumer, it is really important to know debt collection is legal although using unfair, deceptive and abusive means is not allowed. Here are five things any debt collection agency is not allowed to do whenever they are trying to collect money.
1. Cannot Use Misleading or False Statements
The debt collection companies are not allowed to misrepresent the amount, character or legal status of debt. They can never pretend to work for a government agency or a credit reporting agency. They are never required by law o send you fake papers in order to confuse you or tell you to forget about the actual legal papers. Companies in debt collection Holland are always required to be honest about who and what they are and what their main purpose is. In case a debt collector claims to be from a government agency or is a law enforcement officer or claiming to be any person they are not, they are violating the law. Ensure you are suspicious about any debt collection agency which requests for your social security number, bank details or other personal financial details.
2. Discussing Your Dent with Third Parties without Your Consent
It does not matter what they tell you or how much you owe them, the debt collectors are never allowed to discuss your debts with any other person be it your spouse or relative. However, they can always contact the third parties to help in tracking you down but they are only limited to confirming your address, phone number and place of work. A debt collector will be breaking the law whenever they try to embarrass you into paying the debt by informing your family, friends, co-workers or neighbours.
3. The Debt Collection Agencies Should Never Use Abusive Statements of Harass you
Threatening to have you jailed or arrested is going against the debt collection laws. The agencies are never allows to threaten to take your protected income or social security payments. They are never allowed to threaten to cause physical injury to you or your family or property. They are also not allowed to send false information about you to the credit agencies or use obscene language.
4. Calling You at Workplace in Violation with the Workplace Policy
Most workplaces do not allow their employees to receive personal calls during working hours. Any debt collection communication are personal are not required to go against any workplace policy although most of the agencies will try to convince you otherwise. In case they keep on calling you during work hours despite you informing them that they are going against the workplace policy, they might be violating the FDCPA.
5. Refusing or Failing to Validate Debt
Any collection agency is always required to send you a debt validation letter within the first five days after they first contact you whether by letter or through phone. The debt validation letter should state the total amount you allegedly owe, how you can pay for it and to whom. There are debt collection agencies which do not send it without prompting hence, always be sure of requesting for this information. In case they refuse or fail to send this information, you should immediately contact a consumer protection attorney.