Know Your Rights: Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

"know your rights" sign

You applied to a loan or a line of credit and, based on your credit score and past payment history, the lender took a chance on you. Since then, your financial world has collapsed. Perhaps you lost your job or got into a car accident and now have mounting medical bills. It doesn’t matter why you can’t pay the debts, you simply cannot make the numbers add up.

Unfortunately, your creditors have heard it before. They want their money – with interest. They have a right to get repaid, based on the agreement you signed. However, they must pursue collections in accordance with what’s known as the “Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).”

The FDCPA is a federal law; think of it as the rulebook for collection agencies. It’s a consumer protection law which sets forth the guidelines for what a collector may and may not do in an effort to get you to pay up.

1. Timing is Everything: If you receive any calls before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m., your rights under the FDCPA are being violated. Similarly, collectors may not call you at work after you’ve made it clear you are not allowed to receive those calls during the business day.

2. Legal Representation: Collection agencies are operating under the guidance of their lawyers. They also have to respect your decision to hire legal representation. If you make it clear you have a lawyer helping you deal with your debt, the collection calls must stop.

3. Professional Tactics: We’ve all seen it on TV: the nasty collection agent who is hounding the person in debt, threatening them. The FDCPA prohibits use of profane words or obscenities. If someone threatens violence in any way, they can be held responsible for those threats.

4. Truthfulness Counts: Collectors are not allowed to lie in an attempt to collect a debt. This includes threatening legal action.

If you believe your FDCPA rights have been violated, contact Joel R. Spivack, Esq. for sound legal advice right away. He is an experienced bankruptcy lawyer and debt negotiation attorney in Cherry Hill, NJ. He will protect your legal rights.


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Attorney Joel R. Spivack is an experienced bankruptcy and residential real estate transactions lawyer in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Clients come to us for legal services, but what we really provide is peace of mind. For more than 30 years, Attorney Spivack has helped people make wise, informed decisions about bankruptcy filings, debt relief options and residential real estate transactions.
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