Law Office of Allan E. Dunaway, PLC

Federal law protects debtor from abuse by collection agencies

Natives of Kentucky who have used a debt collection agency to reduce monthly payments and settle debts may find it interesting that there is a federal law that protects an individual's rights whenever a bill collector is being abusive to a consumer. In some cases, a collector will call an individual multiple times, demanding payment in an unprofessional manner.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act protects the debtor against third-party debt collectors and violations, such as multiple calls, calls that are made at unusual hours, the use of profanity or lying to the debtor. Sometimes, threats are made in an attempt to collect the debt and often include the threat of criminal prosecution if the debt is not paid. It is possible that these violations might offer a $1,000 reward to the individual that is mistreated under this law.

Individuals with debt are encouraged to answer the phone each time a third-party bill collector calls so that they are able to document the conversation. It might be necessary to use recording equipment and disclose to the collector that the call is being recorded. In many cases, informing the agent that the call is being recorded is enough to cause them to want to refrain from illegal behavior.

An individual that is able to prove that the agent spoke to them in an abusive or threatening manner is entitled to a $1,000 statutory award per incident by law. The process of collecting the funds could be complicated, however. The individual would have to inform the agency that they intend to file a claim in small claims court. Further action might also be necessary afterwards. An attorney might be able to assist an individual with the process of filing a claim in regards to creditor harassment.

Source: Main St, "Does a Debt Collection Agency Owe You Thousands of Dollars?" Nicholas Pell , Jan. 15, 2015

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