According to recent research, it has been revealed that there has suddenly been a speedy increase in the number of FDCPA lawsuits against the illegal debt collection practices. In 2011, a total number of 850 names of debt collection agencies have been forwarded in about 960 district consumer statute lawsuits and it is also anticipated that the figures will rise drastically in 2012. The complaints are primarily of FDCPA violations and harassment by creditors and debt collectors. Though the debt consolidation and credit counseling agencies are there to put an end to all collection calls, not much difference is being created with the figures. The charges that are brought against the creditors are use of abusive and threatening language, third party disclosure and many more accusations.
The number of consumer complaints against the creditors is rising to a horrible rate but the most surprising fact is that despite the FDCPA being enforced since 1977, the creditors don’t miss a single opportunity of harassing the debtors and this fact is prominent from the rising lawsuit filings. The possible reason for these violations may be the obsolete nature of the FDCPA. When the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was enforced in 1977, the cell phones and auto-dialers were not even invented. This is the reason it’s really not clear how the FDCPA can be applicable at a time when the deceptive debt collectors use the most modern technologies to take an undue advantage of the debtors.
Know your rights as a debtor – Some FDCPA violations
If you’re finding yourself at a sticky situation due to a third party debt collection agency, you should educate yourself on the rights as a debtor. Knowing your rights will help you get over the harassment that you’re not supposed to undergo. The FTC had passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) in 1977 to safeguard the debtors from the clutches of the deceiving debt collectors. Check out some actions that the debt collectors can’t take as per the FDCPA.
- The debt collector can’t ask you to pay back a fake amount. Any kind of misrepresentation of the debt amount that should be repaid is disregarded by the FDCPA.
- The debt collector can’t call you repeatedly as the FDCPA considers continuous calls as harassment.
- He can’t ask you to pay the fees, interest rates and the expenses that are not allowed by the law.
- He can’t call you before 8.00 a.m in the morning and after 9.00 p.m at night.
- He can’t use a language that threatens you as this is considered to be violence as per the FDCPA.
- He can’t inform a third-party illegally about the debt amount that you owe. He may contact your friends or neighbors but only for asking your telephone number or address.
How can debtors avoid this harassment caused by the debt collectors?
If the debt collectors keep on disturbing you for an account that you rightfully owe, you should keep your calm during the call and avoid entering into any argument with them. You can enroll yourself in a debt consolidation program so that you can start repaying your debts through single and affordable monthly payments that can satisfy your creditors and debt collection agencies. Don’t forget to ask for a debt validation to make sure whether you actually owe the debt for which you’re getting calls.
Therefore, when you’ve fallen back on your monthly unsecured loan payments and your accounts are being turned down to debt collection agencies, stay aware of the rights so that no one takes an undue advantage of your ignorance. You may also get help from a professional debt consolidation firm to put an end to all collection calls for good.
- New Year Financial Resolutions (fastswings.com)
- 4 Steps to Setting Your Own Debt Ceiling (2011tax.org)