A Debt Collector CANNOT:

  • Telephone you an unreasonable number of times
  • Telephone you at an unusual time/ unusual place
  • Disclose information of your debts to third parties
  • Use profane or other abusive language
  • Contact you after written notification that you do not want to be contacted any further
  • Claim to be affiliated with any governmental organization
  • Misrepresent the character, amount or legal status of a debt
  • Threaten of to take any action that cannot be taken legally
  • Accuse you having committed a crime
  • Threaten or communicate false credit information
  • Attempt to collect, until he honors your request to validate
  • Use deceptive methods to collect debts
  • Call you before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m.
  • Call you, but not announce who he/she is
  • . . . and more

You can:

  • Reduce or completely zero out your interest payments
  • Avoid or reduce late payment fees
  • Combine several loans into a single payment plan
  • Get a single, low monthly payment to clear all your creditors
  • Get errors in your credit reports rectified
  • Get invalid or time-lapsed entries in your credit reports removed
  • Get peace of mind
  • . . . and more

What is Debt Collection Harassment?

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) has a set of rules that determine what can be termed as harassment by the debt collector. Harassment can be either written or verbal. Calling you repeatedly at home or work place is a form of harassment. Harassing in any form is considered a severe violation of the FDCPA.

According to the FDCPA the following are considered violations of the Act by the debt collector:

  • Harassing by calling repeatedly
  • Threatening to use violence
  • Using obscene or abusive language
  • Calling at work place
  • Calling after you request him not to call
  • Calling but not giving name
  • Sending notices that look like court notices
  • Publishing a list of consumers who have not paid
  • Trying to extract payment over phone
  • Giving false identity of being an attorney

A debt collector can call you if there is a genuine debt to recover. But debt collectors are often over- enthusiastic and may end up placing too many calls or end up using tough language. This is considered to be harassment. The FDCPA punishes harassment by debt collectors. The Act gives out specific guidelines on what is considered unlawful behavior. These guidelines protect consumer rights.

If debt collectors obey the rules of the book the emotional stress faced by the debtors can be avoided. In the absence of this understanding there is a possibility of the consumer falling into the emotional trap.

You can avoid the harassment by following these simple rules:

  • Stay calm during the call
  • Do not enter into argument
  • Do not use foul language
  • Do not give away your bank details
  • Ask for debt validation
  • Send a cease and desist letter
  • Dispute the debt

If the debt collector has harassed you and violated your rights, you can sue him. You may engage an FDCPA attorney who will take care of the legal aspects.

The NCO Debt Collectors Pay for Violating the FDCPA

According to Section 813 of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), a debt collector can be sued for damages per the FDCPA for using illegal or unethical collection tactics. Section 813 deals with suing debt collectors for violating the fair debt act.

The FDCPA is a federal Act that came into existence following the numerous complaints about the nefarious collection tactics of third party debt collectors. The NCO Financial Systems is one such debt collection agency known for its abominable and ruthless debt collection tactics.

The NCO has been in news for  harassment cases many times. The NCO is a third part debt collection agency that buys debts from cell phone companies, hospitals and the government for a throw away price and attempts to collect on them. Often you may even have paid the bill that these people are attempting to collect but that does not deter them. They are bent on thrusting a debt on you which is so old that you have no obligation to pay it. The NCO Financial scams are so many that we can read news about them stooping low to harass neighbors, relatives, previous occupants of your address, co-workers, etc. to collect the payments.

The NCO Financial scams are not limited to violations of the FDCPA alone. The NCO has paid millions of dollars to settle the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charges for violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and other consumer acts. The NCO Financial scams are not related just to the violations of  federal laws but to the state legislation violations too.

Section 813 A explains how civil liability can be imposed in three situations that the NCO are known to commit: actual damages, discretionary penalties and costs and attorney's fees. Any NCO debt collector who fails to follow as provided in this section, he is liable to debtor, an amount of one thousand dollars per violation. If an NCO debt collector has been found to have harassed a debtor, the court may award the defendant attorney's fees reasonable in relation to the work expended and costs.

The NCO Financial Systems has violated the FDCPA countless times. In 2004, the NCO was penalized with 1.5 million dollars fine by the FTC for reporting inaccurate information to the credit bureaus. The NCO has been repeatedly taken to book for violating consumer laws and has been penalized by court of law.

Debt collection agencies like the NCO train debt collectors who are paid a commission on collecting a debt. Their salaries are normally very low and are dependent on their collections. This drives them to behave in an unethical way to gain money. In the bargain they do not spare the innocent consumers. The FDCPA is applicable to debt collectors as it is to collection agencies. Therefore, debt collectors become liable like their employers.

How Consumers Should Treat Debt Collectors

When consumers fall behind on their payments, it can be expected that they will start to receive collection calls, regardless of the size of the debt.  These calls can make a consumer’s life miserable.  For this reason, the law has imposed certain restrictions on what a debt collector can and cannot do under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)

The FDCPA was enacted to stop abusive, deceptive, and unfair debt collectors from harassing consumers.  The penalties for noncompliance by a debt collector are steep and aggressively enforced.  If you or a loved one has been subjected to an aggressive debt collector, make sure to contact one of our trained and experienced attorneys today to protect your rights. 

This is particularly important because debt collectors may employ trickery to extend the life of the debt.  If consumers are not careful, they could be persuaded to agree to do something that is not to their benefit and as a result, make their situation worse.  Therefore it is important to know the right way to talk to and deal with debt collectors. 

While you should also contact one of our experienced attorneys when dealing with a debt collector, here are some basic tips that you can employ:

Collection Calls

When dealing with collection calls, consumers need to have the right attitude.  Consumers need to understand that even though there may have been factors that contributed to the debt, the debt is still under the consumer’s name.  The only time a consumer is not responsible for paying off the debt is if they are a victim of identity theft. 

When debt collectors call, here are some suggestions on how to deal with them: 

  • Be Polite: Debt collectors are determined to get consumers to pay what they owe.  As a result they can be very rude.  Despite this, consumers should still be polite then they start the conversation.  Some debt collectors will respond with the same courtesy that is shown to them.  They may even become cooperative in helping the consumer pay of their debts.
  • Be Patient: The longer a consumer can drag out the debt collection the better it will be for them.  The debt collector will become more desperate to get money from the consumer.  Additionally, once the debt is past the statute of limitation the debt collector cannot take the consumer to court to sue for a particular debt.
  • Be Consistent: When a consumer is not able to pay their debts because of a financial crisis or illness, be sure to stick to story.  It is not necessary to embellish the story.
  • Be on Guard: Consumers need to be on guard and check if the debt collector is who they say they are.  They should details and make sure to take note of who is calling, the company the debt collector is working with, and the original creditor of the debt.  Consumers should also have the debt collector verify that the debt is really theirs.  Additionally, consumers should call the creditor as well to ensure that the debt collector has the right to collect on the debt.
  • Be Prepared: There are ways for consumers to prepare themselves for collection calls.  These calls should not be taken lightly.  Being prepared will help consumers from being too intimidated by what the debt collectors say.

Preparing for Debt Collection Calls 

  • Know your rights as a consumer: As soon as a consumer is not able to afford making their payments, they should know what the FDCPA has to say.  This law tells consumers how debt collectors can and cannot collect from them.  The FDCPA will help consumers determine when debt collectors are bluffing or violating the act.
  • Know your debts: Some debt collection agencies buy out old debts from creditors.  In order for consumers to avoid being tricked into paying something they should not, consumers need to know their debts.  Consumers need to identify debts that are past the statute of limitations or if debt collectors are harassing them for debts that the consumer did not make in the first place.
  • Know your debt relief plan: Consumers should start considering a debt relief plan, no matter how difficult their financial situation is.  

A consumer’s knowledge of the whole situation and their rights will help them deal with abusive debt collectors. We drafted an extensive overview of the FDCPA and relevant provisions.  Please print this out and use it as a guideline if you, a loved one, a friend, or a colleague is dealing with a debt collector.  These are provisions that typically apply in most situations.

If you believe that you, a loved one, a friend, or an acquaintance has otherwise been subjected to a debt collector who has violated these laws, please contact us today and speak with one of our qualified FDCPA attorneys. We have been successfully representing those abused and taken advantage of by debt collectors for years, and have a long list of successful stories to share with you. We offer a FREE CASE REVIEW for you to assess whether we can assist you with your matter. Please do not hesitate to contact us toll free at 1-800-875-3666 if you prefer to talk to a trained professional over the phone instead, or of course, visit our website at http://www.krohnandmoss.com/.

The Three Most Important Steps to Stopping Debt Collection Harassment

Three very important steps to stopping of debt collection are identifying whether you owe a debt or not, reviewing your rights and taking action of your rights have been violated.

The Fair debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was established by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to ensure fair debt collection practices. The FDCPA is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and private attorneys governs fair debt collection methods. Any violation of the FDCPA can attract a compensation of $1000 per violation.

The following are the FDCPA Violations by debt collectors:

  • Calling you repeatedly at inconvenient times
  • Threatening you with serious consequences
  • Using abusive language
  • Calling your place of work
  • Not validating debt
  • Demanding more than you owe
  • Not disclosing identity
  • Contacting third parties about your debt
  • Contacting you even after you are represented by attorney
  • Harassing you even after receiving cease and desist letter from you
Are you a victim of debt collection calls? First find out if the debt collection company has been calling you by mistake. Even if it is calling by mistake or calling to ask for a relative or a friend,  the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) protects you from any type of harassment from debt collectors. If a debt collector calls you repeatedly and despite your repeated requests, continues to call, the FDCPA rights protect you.

Under the FDCPA rights, you may
  • Not take a call from a debt collector
  • Hang up on a debt collector
  • Inform a debt collector not to call
  • Send a letter to a debt collector not to call
  • Fix a convenient time to call you
  • Not allow debt collector to call you at odd times
  • Ask debt collector to validate the debt in writing
  • Instruct debt collector not to call at work place
  • Send a cease and desist letter to debt collectors to stop further communication
  • Engage an attorney for further communication and legal action
  • Record the calls from debt collectors (if it is allowed in the state you reside in)
Take action if the debt collector has not
  • Sent you a written notification of the amount of debt and the name of the creditor within five working days of the call
  • Send you Mini Miranda warning
  • Has not informed you of your right to dispute the debt within 30 days after you receive the notice, in the warning
  • Disclosed in the first communication with you that he or she is attempting to collect a debt
  • Informed you that any information obtained will be used for that purpose
  • Included the above disclosure If the debt collector’s first communication with you is by phone
  • Included the above disclosure in its first written communication with you as well
  • Identified himself or herself in all subsequent communication with you