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What is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?

| Mar 26, 2021 | Debt |

Amassing debts can be difficult and overwhelming for Michigan families. While some may be able to manage their mortgages, car payments, and credit card balances, others may struggle to make the minimum payments on their credit accounts just to keep the lights on in their homes. When loans and bills go unpaid beyond their due dates, individuals may begin to experience the unpleasant process of communicating with collections agents.

A collections agent is an individual tasked with seeking payment on a past due loan or account. Some collections agents and the agencies they work for are legitimate organizations that follow the rules and work within the boundaries of their regulations. Unfortunately, many collections agents ignore the laws that limit their actions and harass the men and women whose loans they are responsible for collecting.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (the “Act”) is an important piece of federal legislation that protects individuals from certain damaging collections practices. This post will discuss some of the protections the Act provides, and readers can take their questions about them to their trusted debt relief and bankruptcy attorneys.

No harassment or lies

Under the Act, collections agents and agencies cannot give false information to debtors. They may not call them at late or early hours to harass them, and they may not use abusive or threatening language to compel debtors to pay. These actions are prohibited under the Act and other protections’ laws.

Limits on who may be contacted

When a person is delinquent on a loan, they can expect to be contacted by a collections agent. However, that collections agent may not contact the debtor’s family members to get to the debtor. If the debtor so stipulates, the collections agent may not contact them while they are at their job. Similarly, if a debtor chooses to work with an attorney to address their debt, the collections agent must contact the attorney and not the debtor to discuss the debt.

Debtors who feel pressured by the damaging and wrongful practices of collections agents do not have to endure harassment and fear. It is within their rights to work with legal representatives to address their debts and work toward their repayment. This post does not provide legal advice and readers should not rely on it to address their own legal needs.