Many people who are having debt problems are being bullied into paying money to their creditors. The Fair Debt Collection Act is designed to help stop this treatment of individuals who owe money. The Fair Debt Collection Act set up by the federal trade commission is used to ensure that certain guidelines are followed and it also enables the consumer to sue any debt collection companies that break the law.
Please remember though that the Fair Debt Collection Act does not cover every type of debt that a person may have. The Fair Debt Collection Act covers any personal, family and household debts that have been amassed. It does not even cover any business debts that have been accrued.
Most creditors hand any money owed over to debt collection companies who will then contact the necessary persons via letter or a telephone call. The Fair Debt Collection Act states that within five days of their first contact they must provide a written validation stating how much is owed and who this money is owed to. They also need to provide instructions on what to do if a person feels that no money is actually owed to any of the creditors in the validation letter.
After this initial contact a request can be made by the debtor that no more contact is made. To do this though a letter must be sent by certified post posting that no more contact from the company may occur. The letter must be received within 30 days after receipt of the original validation letter or else contact again is allowed. On receipt of the letter contact can be made again only once more but that will only be to confirm one of the following:
- To state that no further contact will be made.
- To send written verification of the debt owed.
- To state that they or the creditor intends to take specific action like filing a lawsuit.
The Fair Debt Collection Act covers many things that these companies can not do and a small list of these are below. Debt collectors may not harass, oppress, or abuse the debtor or any third parties that contact. They may not lie when they are trying to collect a debt. For example they must not falsely claim that they are attorneys or government representatives and also falsely claim that a crime has been committed.
They are also forbidden to state that the debtor will be arrested if they do not pay off their debt, or that they will seize property and possessions without actually permitted by law. Also they may not give false information about the persons credit status to anyone or try to collect any interest fee on top of the debt owed without the state law allows it. The above is just a fraction of what the Fair Debt Collection Act actually covers and it is advisable that you download your own copy and give it a thorough read through.