You might not know them, but collection laws can make your life easier and make paying off your debts so much simpler than you ever imagined. The key is to know your rights as a consumer.
Okay, I know, you might be thinking that you don’t have any rights because you did run up the debt, right?
This is true and you do need to pay off the debt, but you don’t deserve to have to pay the ridiculous fees that you wind up with when the collection agency gets a hold of your debt.
Step 1: Knowing the Laws
The first step is to know the collection agency laws so you can make them work for you. For instance, did you know that under the FDCPA or the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act you have the right to request validation of the debt in question? Not only does the collection agency have to provide you validation of the debt within 30 days, but they cannot contact you during that time. However, once the debt has been validated, you may be looking at an acceleration of legal proceedings if you do not make arrangements to pay your debt.
You also need to know that it is illegal for a collection agency to discuss your situation with anyone other than your attorney or your spouse. This means that even if they leave you a voicemail discussing your particular case, they can face some serious fines.
Another great benefit of the FDCPA is that collection agencies are not allowed to call you any later than 9:00pm your local time or earlier than 8:00am your local time. So, no more late night phone calls for you.
Don’t zone out just yet because I’m getting to the good stuff. Now, how about that if a collection company puts any symbol or language on the envelope that they send you to communicate that is not strictly their address is illegal? Or, maybe the fact that it is completely illegal to communicate with you about your debt through the use of a post card is even more interesting.
How about the fact that collection agencies cannot make outrageous threats or impersonate an attorney or law enforcement agency of any kind? This might work to your advantage when you’re dealing with collection agencies, because how many of us have been threatened by a debt collector?
Step 2: Knowing How to Use the Collection Laws to Your Benefit
When you know how to use the new laws to your benefit, you’ll find that you can make real progress. For instance, if you dispute a debt with a collection agency, they are required by law to report it to the credit bureaus. You know what? Most agencies never report your disputes to the credit bureaus and this can work wonders for your cause.
Also, if you have legal representation, collection companies cannot contact you directly. They can only contact your attorney. This means that you can get creditors off your back while you work to pay them off.
If you’re interested in finding out more about these laws or how you can use them to your advantage, you can visit the Federal Trade Commission website and check out the FDCPA act for yourself.
When you’re dealing with collection calls and letters it can feel daunting to tackle this problem head on, but when you know about your rights and the new regulations that debt collectors must follow, you’ll find that the process is easier than ever.
So, before you get started, research the collection agency laws that can help you to improve your credit and get the collectors off your back.
If you are interested in these collection agency laws here is some suggested reading:
I hope you find the above links helpful resources!