Facing Debt Collection? You Have Rights.


Facing Debt Collection? You Have Rights.

October 28th, 2011 by Lisa

If you’ve ever had problems paying your bills, you may have had heard from a debt collector.  You aren’t alone.  Unemployment or unexpected illness can make it tough to make timely payments on credit cards, mortgage, auto and other loans, and this creates business for debt collectors.

You have the right to be treated fairly by debt collectors.  Under federal law, they can’t use abusive, unfair or deceptive practices to collect from you.  The FTC’s debt education resources explain your rights and responsibilities when dealing with debt collectors and offer options on how to cope with debt while avoiding scams that promise to erase your debt or “clean up” your credit report.  (Remember:  You can build a better credit report yourself…for free!)

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) sets limits on where, when and how debt collectors can contact you.   Did you know that the FDCPA makes it illegal for a debt collector to harass, oppress, or abuse you or any third parties they contact about you?  Or that a debt collector can’t contact you at work if she knows your employer prohibits such calls?  This webpage and video explain more.

Coping with debt is a difficult, but essential, part of managing your finances.  The Money Matters website has dozens of fact sheets covering other aspects of personal finance.

Click here to read the FTC’s related press release.  The release is also available in Spanish here.


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