Whether you are an owner or a client of a collection agency, it is important that you know the rules that govern it in order to protect your rights. Although individual states may have additional rules that protect both the consumer and the agency, what are stated here are the basic rules that are followed by all states. Here's how to understand the guidelines for debt collection agencies.
- There is a certain time frame at which the debt collectors can contact the debtor regarding the debt. You may be contacted between the hours of 8:00 am and 9:00 pm. If any calls are made outside those times as well as the times you have specifically told them are inconvenient for you, this is a violation of this rule.
- Use of foul language, profanity or any form of any verbal abuse by debt collection agencies is strictly prohibited. They are not allowed to threaten you in any verbal or physical way. Included in this is the threat to publicize your debt or tell your superior about the debts you have incurred which may threaten the job or jobs that you have.
- The debt agency is not allowed to file legal action in a place that is not near the creditor’s home. A case should be filed in your state. You are not required to travel to another place to respond to a case that may be filed against you with regard to your debt. There are exceptions to this, like if you opened the account in one state and transferred to another state afterward.
- The law states that the collection agency cannot contact any third party regarding the debt the consumer has incurred without his consent. In some cases where contact information does not exist, the credit agency is allowed one phone call to find the debtor but they are not allowed to divulge that they are calling regarding credit collection.
- Before discussion of the debt or the collection of fees, the agency must identify that it is from the collection service and provide information as to why he is in contact. Explicit identification and purpose of calling must be explained. The credit agency must identify itself as a debt collector and not for other collections such as medical collections. Every time there is communication, whether written or verbal, it must include the identification process. Any information obtained during the communication is for that sole purpose.
- The collection agency should be able to verify your debt upon request. You can request the proof of the debt you have incurred. Agencies are required to provide the creditor’s name, address and phone number, including the specifics of the debt. A maximum of thirty days is given to the agency to respond to the request of proof of debt.
Being in debt or collecting debt is a major headache, but knowing the debt collection laws can help. One must be able to manage credit in order to survive such ordeals. There are several ways to do this; more than a handful of softwares are available to help you with this. But be careful in choosing since there are scams out there that may worsen the situation.