Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) Violations
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, more commonly referred to as the FDCPA, is a federal law that defines how debt collectors can act when collecting a debt from you. There are specific things a debt collector can't do. If you need to reference the law to verify whether a debt collector is acting outside the law, citations have been provided.
Ask You to Pay More Than You Owe
The collector cannot misrepresent the amount you owe. They can't say your balance is higher than it actually is.
You're allowed to ask a third-party collection agency to send proof of the debt and the amount they're pursuing you for. Make this debt validation request in writing.
Threaten Action They Cannot or Will Not Take
Collectors can't threaten to sue or file charges against you, garnish wages, take property, cause job loss, or ruin your credit when the collector cannot or does not intend to take the action.
Contact You at Work Knowing Your Employer Doesn't Approve
A collector is not allowed to contact you at work if you’ve let them know your employer doesn’t approve of these calls. The collector also isn't allowed to let your employer or co-workers know that they're a debt collector.
You can send a written cease and desist letter to stop a debt collector from calling you at work.
Fail to Send a Written Debt Validation Notice
Within five days of the collector's initial communication, it must send you a notice include the amount of the debt, name of the creditor, and notice of your right to dispute the debt within 30 days.
Continue Collection Attempts After Receiving a Cease Communication Notice
If you make a written request for the collector to cease communication, it can only contact you one more time, via mail to let you know one of the following: that further efforts to collect the debt are terminated, that certain actions may be taken by the collector, or that the collector is definitely going to take certain actions.