Many individuals, families and businesses across Pennsylvania have all been adversely impacted by the economic recession. While the recession may be over for some, others are still feeling the effects of increased debts and obligations that remain unpaid. Creditors try hard to collect these outstanding debts. Some use collection agencies that send nasty letters and make annoying and consistent phone calls. But, creditors cannot harass you for payment. There is a very specific law known as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act that governs how creditors are lawfully able to pursue the collection of unpaid debts. An experienced debt collection lawyer can ensure that your rights are protected.
What is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, prohibits debt collectors from using abusive, unfair, or deceptive practices to collect from you. This includes collection agencies, lawyers who collect debts on a regular basis and companies that buy delinquent debts and then try to collect them.
The FDCPA covers almost all types of debts, other than those you may incur in running a business. Debts covered under the FDCPA often include credit card debt, medical debt, and your mortgage.
What does the FDCPA prevent?
While the FDCPA is not a complete barrier from communications made from a debt collector, it does set forth a number of specific, inappropriate things debt collectors cannot do. For example:
- Harassment - They cannot "harass, oppress, or abuse you or any third parties they contact." Debt collectors cannot threaten violence/harm, they cannot publish your name, they cannot use profane language, or they cannot repeatedly call you to annoy you.
- False Statements - Debt collectors cannot lie when attempting to collect a debt.