When you have an outstanding debt and collection agencies are calling day and night, it can feel like you have no rights. They might make you feel like a criminal or a bad person for not being able to pay it off. However, there are a host of reasons why people fall behind on payments. Some people suffer an unavoidable injury that prevents them from being able to work and earn what they did when they incurred the debt. Others might have been unexpectedly downsized and now find themselves unemployed without the money to pay. Whatever the reason, just know that you have rights just like everyone else and there are limitations to what debtcollectors can do while trying to collect a debt.
These limitations were set forth in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. A section of the FDCPA speaks directly to using deception in the collection of a debt. Specifically, debt collection agencies cannot:
- Say that they represent the government or that they are attorneys.
- They cannot say you are a criminal for not paying.
- They cannot make the claim that they are part of a company that does credit reporting.
- They can’t be deceptive regarding how much you actually owe.
- They are forbidden from claiming that you could be arrested.
- Collectors are also not allowed to say that a form is a legal document if it isn’t.
Of course, collection agencies sometimes step over the line. If you feel like that’s the case, an attorney may be able to help you get justice.