How Aggressive Are Collection Agencies in Collecting a Debt?
Just like any other business, some businesses follow the rules and some don’t. Some collection agencies can be very aggressive and break the rules and some comply and are quite reasonable to deal with. It all depends on the debt collection agency that you are dealing with.
What is Considered Acceptable Contact When it Comes to Debt Collection Efforts?
What I would consider acceptable contact when it comes to debt collection efforts would be letters and phone calls, as long as they are not excessive and as long as the client agrees to receive the phone calls at a particular place. A lot of times clients get calls at work, which causes problems and that’s not acceptable. As long as the debt collection efforts are not excessive in their number, I would say that it is reasonable.
What is Considered Harassment When it Comes to Debt Collection Efforts?
A debt collector can’t get aggressive on the phone and threaten things that can’t be done legally like put you in jail. Cursing is unacceptable, and so is yelling. There should be no third party contact, so no one should be contacting a person about somebody else’s debt as that’s unacceptable. If somebody is represented by an attorney then they should only deal with the attorney. They should stop contacting the individual debtor and if they do then it’s a violation. The debt collector has to verify the debt and make sure the debt is owed and it hasn’t been discharged in bankruptcy or been paid or dealt with in some other way. If these things are done, it could lead to what’s called an FDCPA violation, which stands for the Federal Debt Collections Practices Act. These are lawsuits against debt collectors for abusive actions which I have experience with.
Are There Regulations on How Often a Debt Collector Can Contact an Individual?
A debt collector’s contact with an individual cannot be excessive. The FDCPA, which is the Federal Debt Collections Practices Act, prohibits certain activities from debt collectors in their attempts to collect a debt and that involves third party contact, calling at work, calling at unreasonable times, calling an unreasonable number of times, threatening to put people in jail or do things that aren’t otherwise authorized by law to try and collect the debt.
Does The Telephone Consumer Protection Act Protect me From Debt Harassment?
The most active federal legislation that I use to protect debtors who are being harassed is FDCPA, which is the Federal Debt Collections Practices Act where you can sue a debt collector in federal court. Once you prove a violation then there is usually a statutory amount of damages plus you can recoup all attorney’s fees and filing fees along with that lawsuit. I have experience in handling many of these cases from abusive debt collectors.
What Sort of Debt is Protected Under The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)?
The FDCPA protects any kind of familial debt, which is typically credit cards or family obligations or it could be almost anything related to an individual debt. Old cell phones, defaulted car loans, defaulted car leases, medical bills are debts that are protected. Mostly what you see is credit card debt and that’s the most active area where people are trying to collect improperly.
What Are My Rights if I Feel I am Being Harassed by a Debt Collector?
The first thing somebody should do if they feel like they are being harassed by a debt collector is contacting an attorney like myself who will represent the client and put an immediate stop to the harassing activity. The next thing I would do is I would investigate whether or not there are any FDCPA violations and whether those violations warrant filing a lawsuit in federal court to collect the statutory damages, costs and legal fees against the offending party. Sometimes investigation leads itself to further litigation and sometimes it’s just not enough or its not strong enough of a case to be filed in federal court. The first thing to do would be to contact an attorney such as myself who will at least put a stop to the offending activities.
Additional Information on Debt Collection Harassment in New York
If somebody feels like they are being harassed by a debt collector they should contact a debt attorney such as myself who will immediately take steps to stop the harassment from going on. What I generally do is I take a general picture of the person’s debt history and how much debt they have, what their income is and what their assets are and their expenses and whether or not bankruptcy is the right option or whether or not just defending an individual case is more appropriate. Sometimes even defending a case is not appropriate when somebody does not have non-exempt income or non-exempt assets, so it all depends on a person’s particular situation.
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