Millions of people are wallowing in debt. Most of them can’t repay them on time, thus bringing debt collection agents into the picture to intervene.
These agents’ intervention is sweet music to creditors because they stand higher chances of recovering their debts. However, most debtors fear the mention of the name “debt collector.” To them, it’s like dealing with the proverbial “devil’s advocate.”
However, you don’t need to fear debt collectors because debt collection state laws protect your rights. The reason is that being in debt doesn’t incriminate you, especially when you honestly can’t pay your debts on time. So, how do these laws protect your rights when dealing with debt collectors? Here are the four ways in which they benefit and protect you.
- Honest Dealings
One, these laws ensure that you have fair and honest dealings with debt collectors. Thus, no debt collector should use falsified or deceptive means to collect debts from you. The law requires they don’t misrepresent fundamental facts about your debt. Some of these facts are:
- The actual debt amount
- The agent’s real identity
- Legal consequences of failing to pay your debt
In this case, debt collectors should answer all your queries. If they remain silent, you have a right to get legal assistance.
Second, debt collection state laws protect you against all forms of abuse and harassment unleashed as a tool for intimidating you into paying your debt. Under this provision, they can’t use dirty or uncivilized language or threaten you with physical violence.
Moreover, they can’t harass you with repeated phone calls. For instance, they can’t call you daily or within a week after talking to them about the debt. The law also protects you against disguised identity, meaning that the debt collectors must identify themselves before collecting the debt.
The law also allows you to note down any abusive practice to enable you to file a complaint about your rights’ violation. Thus, you can record all abusive phone calls as evidence.
- Enjoy Fair Practices
Three, all debt collection state laws let you enjoy fair dealings and practices from debt collectors. They bar them from soliciting postdated checks to repay or deposit them before you authorize them as a ploy to take legal action against you. Also, they can’t threaten to take your possessions or take them unless otherwise permitted to do so. Lastly, they can’t collect from you beyond what you owe, including interest and collection fees.
- Open Communications
Four, you have the right to control how you communicate with debt collectors. The law prohibits them from calling you during odd hours or places. For example, a debt collector can’t call you late in the night or early in the morning. Additionally, they shouldn’t follow you to your workstation once you have asked them to stop.
The law also permits you to restrict debt collectors from communicating with you directly. Instead, you can ask them to contact you through your attorney if you so wish. Furthermore, you have every legal right to ask the debt collectors to contact you via mail (paper or electronic) if you don’t want to receive their phone calls.
This way, you can only receive their communications when you find it most convenient. Such a move shields you from the embarrassment or inconvenience you may suffer, especially when the collectors call you before your friends, workmates, or neighbors.
Debt collectors must also maintain your confidentiality. That means they can’t disclose your debt details to any third party.
There you are with all the benefits of debt collection state laws. Although you are legally and morally expected to pay your debts, you can only do so in a civilized and honorable manner. Now that you know your rights maximize them as you also fulfill your responsibilities to pay your debts.