Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a collection agency may not act in the following ways:
Third-party communications. The collection agency cannot contact third parties other than the debtor’s attorney or a credit bureau for any reason other than to locate the debtor. Collection agents who contact third parties must state their names, and may only add that they are confirming or correcting information about the debtor. They cannot give the collection agency’s name unless asked directly. They cannot state that they are calling about a debt. Collection agents may not contact a third party repeatedly unless they believe an earlier response was wrong or incomplete and that the third party has revised information. Further, collection agents cannot communicate with third parties by postcard or by correspondence that uses words or symbols that betray their collection motive.
Attorney-represented debtor. A collection agency cannot contact the debtor directly if counsel represents him or her unless the debtor gives the collection agency specific permission to do so.
Debtor communications. Collection agents may not contact debtors before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m., or at another inconvenient time or place. Collection agents also may not contact a debtor at work if he or she knows that the employer bans receipt of collection calls while on the job.
Harassment or abuse. Agents cannot threaten or use violence against the debtor or another person. They cannot use obscene or profane language. They cannot publish a debtor’s name on a blacklist or other public posting. Agents cannot call repeatedly or contact the debtor without identifying themselves as bill collectors.
False or misleading statements. Agents may not lie about the debt, their identity, the amount owed or the consequences for the debtor. They cannot send documents that resemble legal filings or court papers. Agents cannot offer incentives to disclose information.
Unfair practices. Agents may not engage in unfair or shocking methods to collect, including adding interest or fees to the debt, soliciting post-dated checks by threatening criminal prosecution, calling the debtor collect, or threatening to seize property to which the agency has no right. Contact us today at (303) 438-8477.