What Creditors Can Do – And What They Can’t

Debt collectors can call you. They can call you at work too. Although, if they call you at work, you can have them stop calling you if you tell them that you are not allowed to accept debt collection calls at work – aka a personal call. Which means they can’t call you at work if you tell them they can’t.

If a debt collector calls you, they have to call you between the hours of 8 am and 9 pm. This means they can’t call you before 8am and after 9pm.

Once the debt collector makes contact with you, they have to mail you a letter within 5 days indicating the name of the creditor that you allegedly owe and instructions on how to dispute the account if you think there is an error or mistake.

YWhat can a debt collector sayou have the right to write a letter to the collection agency to have them stop calling you. They must comply with your request, however this doesn’t make the debt or the account go away – especially if it is your bad debt. Also, if the debt is not yours it is not a good idea to just forget about it, because it will most likely continue to haunt you until you get the account in error cleared up. Ignorance is not bliss in this case.

Creditors and collection agencies can note your credit report, go after a court judgment and even in some cases garnish your wages. Again, ignoring them probably won’t go well for you if you let things between the collection agency or creditor go on unchecked.

Now on to the guts of what creditors can’t and can do according to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

What Debt Collectors Cannot Do

  • Harass you
  • Harass people you know
  • Talk to anyone else about the debt you owe or supposedly owe (unless you hire an attorney to represent you)
  • Call anyone you know for any reason other than to find out your location (and the people you know don’t have to tell them your whereabouts)
  • Verbally or physically threaten you or anyone you know
  • Call you names or swear at you, even if you provoke them
  • Call you right back if you hang up on them
  • Call you over and over
  • Fraudulently indicate that they are a government entity or work with a government entity
  • Indicate that they are attorneys if they are not in fact attorneys
  • Suggest that you have committed some type of crime
  • Fudge the amount you owe
  • Dismiss written correspondence from you denying the debt (they must show you proof that the debt is yours)

With this information in mind, you should have a better time with handling calls and correspondence with debt collectors. For additional information please contact the FTC.gov