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Debt collectors cannot harrass you

[Oct 16, 2010.]

 

If you are behind on your credit card debt, your auto loan, your medical bills or even your mortgage, you have rights. Debt collectors may be calling you, but they can only do so much. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is your government watchdog. The FTC enforces the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). This law prevents debt collectors from a number of unfair practices. Following is a breakdown of what a debt collector can and cannot do to recover the money you owe. Knowing your rights will help you along the path to debt relief.

What a debt collector may do:

  • call you between 8 AM and 9 PM
  • contact your friends and family and ask for your current contact information
  • call you at work (unless you tell them you are not allowed to receive calls there)
  • sue you and, if they receive a judgment, garnish your wages

What a debt collector is forbidden to do, by law:

  • use threats of violence or any profane language
  • repeatedly call to harass and annoy you
  • misrepresent themselves or make any kind of false claims
  • tell you that you will be arrested for non-payment of the debt
  • threaten garnishment or seizure of your property before they have a judgment
  • give false information to a credit bureau
  • collect more than state law allows

There are ways that you can take control of your debt and stop the repeated attempts by collection agents. If your credit card debt is out of control, you should consider either a credit card debt consolidation loan or a debt settlement program. Both of these options can stop the collection process and give you renewed peace of mind.

A credit card debt consolidation loan puts all of your debts into one loan, usually with a lower interest rate and a fixed term for repayment. You will pay the full amount you owe, plus all of the applicable interest charges. Because you are paying the full amount you owe, this option is best for maintaining a high credit score.

A debt settlement program can reduce the amount you owe, normally based on a change of circumstances such as job loss. If you have reduced income, a debt settlement program may be the answer you need. Debt settlement may reflect badly on your credit score.

 

About Author:

Renee Morgan has been a loan officer for over eighteen years. She is also a freelance writer and guest expert for radio and TV.

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