FAIR COLLECTION PRACTICES

If you are in a situation where you have fallen so far behind on your bills your debt is no longer owned by the original creditors you borrowed from, you are now a target for the attention of debt collection agencies. These agencies regulate a network of debt collectors that make it a career of collecting people’s debts. There is a lot of money to be made in debt collecting, and as such understanding how your debt moves is complicated.

What Happens When My Debt Goes to Collection?

When you take too long to make payments, your debt moves out of the hands of the original creditors. If your debt is fairly new, it is assigned to a specific collection agency that works on behalf of the original creditors. This agency is under a contract in which they have to collect your debt to be paid. When this happens, it is referred to as “assigned debt.”

When a debt is assigned, it means that the debt collector doesn’t have room to make his own rules. Since the debt is still technically owned by the original creditor, they cannot sue you without the creditor’s authorization. They also cannot accept less than what you owe if the creditor insists on collecting the full debt. Assigned debt agencies are poised to keep 25-60% of the debt they collect. Sometimes agencies charge per phone call or letter to the debtor, providing them an incentive to contact you repeatedly.

As soon as your debt leaves your original creditors, you can expect to hear from a collection agency. This is because savvy debt collectors know that the earlier they contact you the greater their chances of collecting your debt. While most debt collectors respect the privacy of the people from whom they are collecting, there is always a chance of dealing with aggressive collectors who break the law.

What are Fair Debt Collection Practices?

Fair debt collection practices are practices that respect consumers and debt collectors alike. In 1977 an act was passed as a response to a wave of complaints against collection agencies and the ruthless methods they used to force people into paying their debts. This act was amended in 1996 and it is called the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA.
To ward off vicious debt collecting practices, this act outlines some real protections for consumers. A consumer is anyone who has borrowed money and incurred debt, or their spouses/ significant others or their parents if the debtors are underage. Debts that are protected include those incurred for personal, family, or household reasons. Credit card, medical and mortgage debts are included.

  • According to the FDCPA, unfair practices include the following:
  • Calling debtors before 8 in the morning or after 9 in the evenings
  • Calling debtors more than once per day or over five times per week
  • Using obscene language or threats
  • Threatening violence or lawsuits
  • Calling people you know to talk about your debt
  • Calling you without telling you who is calling
  • Exaggerating how much you owe
  • …and more

Our firm sues debt collection companies on a weekly basis for violations of the FDCPA. Turn the tables on debt collectors today. If you have experienced any harassment by a debt collector, it is time to speak with a knowledgeable and aggressive consumer protection attorney who specializes in consumer law. Contact The Law Offices of Jibrael S. Hindi today for a free consultation to put an end to the harassment. If we determine that you have a case, we will represent you for FREE!

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