Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
Dealing with mounting debt and creditors can be an overwhelming, demoralizing experience. It’s important to know what creditors and debt collectors are allowed to do. A Terre Haute bankruptcy law office can counsel you about your legal options and how to proceed if you feel your rights were violated.
What the FDCPA Covers
As your Terre Haute bankruptcy lawyer can explain, the FDCPA applies to persons or agencies attempting to collect the debt. This might not then apply to the creditors themselves. The Act covers how a debt collector can communicate with you and prohibits certain unscrupulous tactics.
The FDCPA is a fairly broad piece of legislation. A Terre Haute bankruptcy lawyer can cover the basics about what type of conduct might violate it. For example, if you are represented by an attorney and disclose that to the debt collector, the debt collector should not contact you directly. Rather, your lawyer is then authorized to communicate with the collector on your behalf. Debt collectors are also prohibited from using abusive or deceptive practices when dealing with debtors. For example, threats, coercion or abusive language might trigger a violation of the act. Additionally, it is improper for a debt collector to try and get you to agree to alter the terms of your original payment agreement. They cannot force you to agree to a higher interest rate or payments then you originally contracted for as an example.
Basic Facts About Debt Collection
It’s also important to understand how debts are legally collected. In order for a creditor to have the power to garnish wages, seize property or use other legal collections tools, in most cases they must first file a lawsuit and seek a money judgement against you. Certain types of loans with secured property (like a car loan) might trigger other procedures and your attorney can review your case and advise you properly.