Homes for Sale in Clifton Park NY. Josh Gonzalez, a Local Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Prime Properties in Clifton Park NY. Things you should know about Debt Collectors.

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Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Prime Properties

Homes for Sale in Clifton Park NY.  Josh Gonzalez, a Local Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Prime Properties in Clifton Park NY.  Things you should know about Debt Collectors. 1 of 5

Debt Collector

Homes for Sale in Clifton Park NY.  Josh Gonzalez, a Local Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Prime Properties in Clifton Park NY.  Things you should know about Debt Collectors.  1 of 5

 1. Do debt collectors have to follow any law?

Yes. The federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), 15 USC §1692-1692o, says collectors cannot use abusive and deceptive practices. (For more on prohibited practices identified by the FDCPA, see Question 10.)

In addition to the federal law, many states have adopted laws that provide more protection against abusive collection practices. For example, the federal FDCPA applies only to third-party collectors, but not to creditors attempting to settle their own accounts. State laws may, however, apply whether the debt is being collected by an outside collector or the creditor.

For additional information on the FDCPA as well as a list of state laws and publications, see PRC Fact Sheet 27, Debt Collection Practices: When Hardball Tactics Go Too Far, www.privacyrights.org/fs/fs27-debtcoll.htm.

Debt collectors may also be subject to other laws. For example, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 USC §1681, prohibits the sale or transfer of a debt caused by identity theft. For more on debt collectors and identity theft, go to Question 3.


Homes for Sale in Clifton Park NY.  Josh Gonzalez, a Local Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Prime Properties in Clifton Park NY.  Things you should know about Debt Collectors.  1 of 5

2. A debt collector keeps calling for someone I do not know. How can I make them stop calling?

Man yelling over the phone


Write to the debt collector. Send your letter certified, return receipt requested. For an example of what to say, see these sample letters, www.privacyrights.org/Letters/letters.htm#Debt:

if you are the alleged debtor and want to cease calls to you, see Sample Letter 4

if the debt is someone else's and a collector is contacting you about it, see Sample Letter 6.

Homes for Sale in Clifton Park NY.  Josh Gonzalez, a Local Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Prime Properties in Clifton Park NY.  Things you should know about Debt Collectors.  1 of 5

3. I am a victim of identity theft. How can I get debt collectors to stop calling?

Send the debt collector evidence that you are a victim of identity theft. Examples are:

  • police report
  • fraud affidavit
  • letters form companiew acknowledging the debt is not yours

Once you provide information that you are an identity theft victim, the collector must:

  • stop collecting on the debt and investigate
  • notify the original creditor about the fraud or identity theft
  • give you information about the debt, such as account applications and statements

The PRC has a sample letter available at: http://www.privacyrights.org/Letters/debt3.htm.

 

Homes for Sale in Clifton Park NY.  Josh Gonzalez, a Local Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Prime Properties in Clifton Park NY.  Things you should know about Debt Collectors.  1 of 5

4. Can a debt collector reveal information about my debt to my family, friends or boss?

No. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) discussions about the debt can only be held with (1) the individual, (2) the creditor, (3) an attorney representing one of the parties, and (4) a credit bureau. Public airing of your business intended to shame you into paying a debt is not allowed. Debt collectors cannot:

  • exchange (with other agencies) information about individuals who allegedly owe a debtTalking over a megaphone
  • distribute a list of alleged debtors to its creditor subscribers
  • advertise a debt for sale
  • compile a list of debtors for sale to others
  • leave messages with third parties, asking them to have the debtor call the collector

If a debt collector does not know your name and telephone number, family members or neighbors may be contacted to find out how to locate you, but the collector

  • may not tell others you owe a debt or discuss details of the account
  • must identify himself (by name, but not necessarily as a debt collector)
  • must identify the name of the collection agency only if asked
  • can only contact the party once unless the collection agency has reason to believe the person has new information
  • cannot leave information about a debt on a third party's answering machine or voice mail

Please note that contacts with a spouse, the parent of a minor, a guardian, co-signer, executor, or administrator are considered the same as contacts with the debtor under the FDCPA.

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