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What rules must debt collectors abide when collecting debt?

Getting calls from debt collectors can be a stressful experience. Once the calls start, you may be scared to answer the phone from any unknown number. When you are in the midst of dealing with these collectors, it is important to know what they must say and what they are not allowed to say. Not following these rules can categorize the calls as harassment, illegal under the Federal Trade Commission.

Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, debt collectors must follow specific rules. When they call you, they first must identify themselves, whether this is the first call or one hundredth. In the identification, they must say they are a debt collector and notify you that any information given will be used to collect the debt. After identifying themselves, they must identify the original debtor on whose behalf they are calling, including name and address.  

Once identification is given, the collector must let you know that you have the right to dispute the debt within 5 days of the original call. You may demand verification of the debt, at which time the collector has 30 days to provide said verification. Finally, a debt collector can file a lawsuit against you if needed.

A debt collector may not call you outside reasonable hours, typically 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Also, if you request for communication to stop, they must do so immediately, outside of a written notification that they are seeking other methods to collect the debt. Abuse from the collector, such as an unreasonable amount of calls, threatening arrest, using profanity or talking to someone besides you about the debt is not tolerated. Also, if you hire an attorney for your case or file for bankruptcy, collectors must cease contact.

If you are facing financial challenges in Kentucky and need debt relief, or you have suffered from creditor harassment, an experienced lawyer can help. They can explain your different options to you and advise you during the next steps of the process.

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