Debt Collection FAQs – Maintaining Control
When a debt collector calls, it’s important to know your rights and what you need to do.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is an independent agency of the United States government whose principal mission is the enforcement of civil (non-criminal) U.S. antitrust law and the promotion of consumer protection. The FTC can also act as a clearinghouse for criminal reports sent to other agencies for investigation and prosecution.
To learn more visit www.FTC.gov or to report fraud visit ReportFraud.FTC.gov) enforces the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which makes it illegal for debt collectors to use abusive, unfair, or deceptive practices when they collect debts.
Why We Present This Information
Your emotional recovery is only half the battle for most victims! A victim can typically recover emotionally in one to two years after the scam, however, financial recovery usually takes much longer – for some about 4 years, and for others even longer (if ever).
We feel it is important for you to understand the process of financial recovery, debt management, and controlling the collection process.
This information is provided with United States residents in mind, but you should check with your government about these issues for your country. Not all countries are the same in this, and some of the rights indicated below may not apply.
Your Debt Collection Rights
What types of debts are covered by debt collectors?
Your credit card debt, auto loans, medical bills, student loans, mortgage, and other household debts are covered. Business debts are not.
Can debt collectors contact me any time or any place?
No. Debt collectors can’t contact you at inconvenient times or places. They can’t contact you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m., unless you agree to it. They also can’t contact you at work if they’re told you’re not allowed to get calls there.
How can a debt collector contact me?
Debt collectors can call you, or send letters, emails, or text messages to collect a debt.
How can I stop a debt collector from contacting me?
Send a letter by mail asking for contact to stop (make yourself a copy before you do). You might want to send it by certified mail and pay for a “return receipt” so you have a record the collector received it. Once the collector gets your letter, it can only contact you to confirm it will stop contacting you, or to tell you a specific action, like filing a lawsuit, will be taken. If you are represented by an attorney and inform the collector, the collector must communicate with your attorney, not you, unless the attorney fails to respond within a reasonable period of time to the communication from the debt collector.
You might want to talk to the collector at least once, even if you don’t think you owe the debt or can’t repay it immediately. That way you can confirm whether it’s really your debt. If it is your debt, you can find out from the collector more information about it. In talking with a debt collector, be careful about sharing your personal or financial information, especially if you’re not already familiar with the collector.