Thousands of Americans are contacted by commercial collection companies each year in an attempt to collect a debt. Some of these commercial collection services can be downright ruthless in their attempt to collect money, leaving you stressed and anxious at the thought of even picking up a phone or opening a letter.
If you have ever felt helpless or distraught at the thought of negotiating debt with a creditor, you have more rights than you think. Commercial collection consultants must remain in compliance with state and local regulations regarding debt collection Read on to see what these commercial collection services must adhere to when attempting to negotiate fair debt collection with you.
1. Restrictions in Communication
A collections consultant must call with official business between the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. They are not allowed to contact you at your place of business if told not to. Should you already be represented by an attorney, they are restricted to communication with that attorney only, and they must not communicate debt with third parties such as employers or family members. If you request a cessation in communication, the collections company cannot attempt to call or write to you again.
2. Behavior Protocol
Fair Debt Collection Practices prohibit any debt collector from using abusive or harassing practices to collect a debt. Use of violent threats or profane language is not allowed, and a debt collector cannot call repeatedly or fail to identify themselves as collection representatives on official business. If you believe that you have been a victim of unfair debt collection harassment or practices, keep a log of all calls and representatives for reporting.
3. Truthful Disclosure
Small commercial business collection consultants cannot use misleading or deceptive information in an attempt to manipulate you to pay a debt. They are required to truthfully disclose:
- The amount of a debt
- Whether it has passed a statute of limitations
- Legal repercussions for failure to pay
- True identity of company and themselves as professionals
It’s important to note that debt collectors can also opt not to answer your questions. If you are trying to figure out a statute of limitations issue or more detailed information related to an old debt, consider reaching out for legal assistance to obtain this information.
4. Adherence to Fair Practices
In addition to demanding truthful communication, the FDCPA demands that a consultant’s behavior be held to a certain standard when dealing with clients. They cannot issue threats or demands for more than what is owed or threaten criminal prosecution or seizure of property. Under no circumstances is it acceptable to attempt to collect a debt in person, for it puts both parties at risk for more serious complications if communication breaks down.
5. Validation of Debt
Small commercial business collection consultants must prove that you owe the debt they are attempting to collect. This usually starts in the form of a validation letter, and if you ask for more information, they must be able to provide it. A validation letter includes:
- The amount owed
- Name of the creditor seeking payment
- A statement that the collector assumes debt is valid
- A request for dispute within 30 days if needed
- Contact information for the purposes of ongoing communication
Do not act on any debt before determining if it belongs to you, and consult with legal professionals for additional help in communicating and contacting a creditor if needed.
Thomas J. Maccari, P.A.: Leading You Through the Process Smoothly
Need help with credit collection? Thomas J. Maccari and his team can lead you through the process of collections while giving valuable advice on compliance and legal parameters that resolve your case. The collections process can be stressful for both creditors and clients; let us help you resolve your issues easily and efficiently. Call Thomas J. Maccari, P.A. today for a consultation. You can look forward to swift and secure resolution.