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Restrictions on debt collectors under federal law

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act places restrictions on what debt collectors may do when attempting to collect an overdue credit card debt from a Kentucky resident. For example, a debt collector may not call before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. without permission to do so. They are also prohibited from calling a debtor at work unless given permission to do so.

A debt collector may not threaten harm against a debtor or make false claims. For instance, a debt collector could not threaten to take legal action or seize the property of a debtor if the collector does not intend to do so. Debt collectors may not make false statements such claiming to be an attorney or that failure to pay a credit card debt is a crime. They must also state whether any paperwork they send to a debtor is or is not a legal form.

Debtors who don't believe that they owe any money do not have to make any payments until the debt can be verified. If asked within 30 days of first contact a debtor, a debt collector must send proof of the credit card debt and the balance owed. A debtor may also request in writing that a debt collection agency stop making phone calls or sending letters regarding the supposed debt.

Those who owe balances on one or more credit cards may wish to seek debt relief. Filing for bankruptcy may enable an individual to get a fresh financial start by discharging debt in a relatively short period of time. Bankruptcy may also force creditors to stop making collection calls or prevent them from taking legal action. A bankruptcy attorney can assist a client who is the victim of creditor harassment.

Source: The Federal Trade Commission , "Debt Collection", October 06, 2014

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