Ethics in Debt Collection
Despite the fact that so many people are all too familiar with the strains of debt collection, many are unaware of their legal rights during the process. To prevent abuse and unfair debt collection practices, the Federal Trade Commission is striving to better inform consumers of their rights in debt collection. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) define specific rules regarding how collectors may contact you, when they may contact you, and what they may collect.
The use of deception or misleading statements is the rule of debt collection that is violated most frequently. In order to intimidate you into paying the debt, debt collectors are notorious for their persistent efforts, which may include lying or making false claims. This is especially true for the elderly, who are frequently intimidated into paying debts they cannot afford. Debt collectors may also engage in harassing behavior, such as making repeated phone calls, calling after hours, contacting acquaintances or family members, or using abusive language. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act prohibits all of these collection methods. Contacting the public via email, social media sites, or by disclosing personal information is also strictly prohibited.
Despite the existence of these regulations, debt collectors violate them daily. The FTC urges anyone who has experienced violations of equitable debt collection practices to immediately file a complaint against the debt collector.
There are several methods to stop debt collectors from being annoying. First, you have the right to negotiate with and repay your lender directly. Even if the creditor has forwarded your account to a collection agency, you are still able to settle your debts directly. By contacting your creditor to set up a debt resolution plan, you can also request the cessation of collection efforts. Once a deal has been effectively reached, your creditor is required by law to cease all communications with the debt collector at your request.
Additionally, registering for bankruptcy will halt credit collection efforts. After declaring bankruptcy, all collection efforts must immediately cease. Any further contact by a collector could result in severe consequences for them. Additionally, your bankruptcy attorney will mediate all communications and correspondence from the debt collector. If you cannot afford to repay your debts, are struggling to negotiate with creditors directly, have received notice of a lawsuit over collections, or have assets at risk of liquidation, bankruptcy is an excellent option for dealing with creditors.
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