When you’re in debt, your phone can become your mortal enemy. Every time it rings, your heart drops. Is it yet another debt collection agency? Are they going to be mean on the phone? Will they threaten me? Thankfully, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act sets out a number of guidelines that agencies and their representatives must follow when trying to collect a debt.
A couple of weeks ago, we talked about some of the important ways in which the FDCPA protects your rights in this area, but the list was far from comprehensive. With that in mind, here are some other things you should know if you are facing incessant calls:
- They cannot use postcards to contact you. Essentially, they cannot attempt to embarrass you by revealing your situation.
- If you’ve post-dated a check, they cannot attempt to deposit it before the date.
- They cannot garnish any of these things, even if they’ve won a lawsuit against you:
- Veteran’s Benefits
- Social Security
- FEMA Federal Disaster Assistance
- SSI Benefits
- Military Annuities and Survivors’ Benefits
- Civil Service and Federal Retirement and Disability Benefits
- They cannot say that they work at a credit reporting company.
- If they send you papers, they cannot say that they are legal forms and, conversely, they must notify you if the papers they send are legal forms.
Many agencies just hope that you don’t understand how Florida’s collection laws work. An attorney can work side by side with you to stop harassing calls and help you get your finances back on track.
Source: consumer.ftc.gov, “Debt Collection,” retrieved May 16, 2015