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3 ways the FDCPA protects debtors from debt collectors

Generally speaking the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act protects debtors from creditor harassment, threats, and misrepresentation over the collection of their debt. This law insures that the collection process is as civil as possible. If debt collectors do not follow this Federal statute, they can be subject to civil liability including fines. This post will elaborate on a few of the specific protections found in the FDCPA.

First, under the FDCPA debt collectors must provide oral or written notice to the debtor. This notice provides a set period to respond and dispute the debt. Within five days of giving notice, the debt collectors must provide the amount of the debt that is owed and the name and address of the creditor. The notice must also state that the debtor has 30 days to dispute the validity of the debt. Usually, this information is included in one letter sent to the debtor. If the debtor disputes the debt, the debt collector must provide verification. 

Second, the FDCPA regulates what debt collectors are allowed to say to you either on the phone or in writing. They cannot make violent threats. They cannot threaten arrest or garnishment of wages. They cannot use profane or obscene language. Additionally, they cannot misrepresent the type of debt or the legal status of the debt.

Third, the FDPCA places restrictions on when and who collectors may call. Collectors may only call between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. They are authorized to call on weekends but they cannot make excessive, repeated attempts to reach you by phone.

Just as importantly, they cannot discuss your debt with a third party. They may only call a third party for the purpose of asking for your phone number or address. With that said, they can only contact one particular third-party one time.  

As you can see, these protections alone can go a long way to protect the debtor. After all, it's difficult enough being overwhelmed with credit card debt, medical bills, or other unsecured debt.

Though there are many more provisions that help keep debt collectors in check, it also may be worthwhile to contact an experienced attorney for further help with your collection issue. 

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