The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act establishes guidelines which debt collectors must obey when trying to collect a debt. This law also allows you to receive up to $1,000 in damages, even if the abusive conduct of a debt collector does not cause you any actual damages. Depending on the circumstances of your debt harassment case, you may also be entitled to recover additional compensation for any damages you have suffered.
You do have rights, even in the face of mounting debt. Once you inform a debt collector that you have hired a lawyer, they may not be allowed to contact you again.
If you have been the victim of abusive behavior by a debt collector, the experienced lawyers at Markoff Leinberger can make sure your rights are protected. The best way to stop creditor harassment is to speak with one of our debt collection rights attorneys. Please call 1-888-517-9115 today to schedule a free consultation at our downtown Chicago office or fill out our online contact form.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act applies to third party debt collectors including debt buyers. They do not apply to a creditor trying to collect a debt directly owed to it.
By law, you have rights:
- Debt collectors must send you a written notice of your rights within 5 days of the time they initially contact you in any manner, unless you pay the debt right away
- You have the right to request additional information about the debt from the debt collector
- If you request in writing that a debt collector stop contacting you or inform them that you refuse to pay, they must stop contacting you, except in very limited circumstances
Keep in mind that if you legitimately owe the debt that they are seeking to collect, you may face a lawsuit and/or risk having a negative mark on your credit report if you refuse to pay.
Regulations Governing Calls from Debt Collectors
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act prevents debt collectors from calling you at inconvenient times or places. According to the law:
- Calls between 8 am and 9 pm local time are considered convenient
- You have the right to inform debt collectors that you prefer to be contacted at a different time of the day or only in writing
- Debt collectors are not allowed to contact you at work if your employer does not allow it
- Robocalls are prohibited without your consent
Harassing or Abusive Conduct Prohibited by Law
Debt collectors are prohibited from committing the following harassing, abusive, or misleading activities:
- Contacting you without properly identifying that they are debt collectors
- Making false, deceptive, or misleading statements
- Threatening you with violence or threatening to damage your reputation
- Threatening to tell others such as employers, friends, or credit references that you owe this debt
- Making repeated, harassing phone calls
- Using foul or abusive language
- Cashing a post-dated check prior to the date listed on the check
- Misrepresenting the amount of the debt
- Threatening you with false claims of arrest, imprisonment, or prosecution of a crime
- Assuming a false identity such as an attorney, police officer, or investigator
- Stating that you must make immediate payment or you will face a lawsuit
- Attempting to collect an old, time-barred debt that that the debt collector cannot sue you for because it is time-barred by the statute of limitations, without certain disclosures.
Markoff Leinberger Can Help
Lawyers at Markoff Leinberger can protect your rights and end the abusive conduct of a debt collector. In order to help us better fight for you, we recommend that you take the following actions:
- Take detailed notes about each interaction with the debt collector, including the date and time of the call and the name of the debt collector
- Save copies of all letters, emails, and other written correspondence to and from the debt collector
- Save any abusive messages left on your voicemail or answering machine
Contact Us Today
Please call 1-888-517-9115 or contact Markoff Leinberger using the online form to schedule your free debt collection rights consultation. We serve clients in Chicago, Illinois, throughout the Midwest, and nationwide.