April 27, 2007, Newsletter Issue #86: Debt Collection Agency Practices

Tip of the Week

A debt collection agency representative shall not use profane, obscene, vulgar, or willfully abusive language in communicating with the consumer or any member of their family. If a debt collector breaks this fair debt collections rule, the consumer has a right to record all conversations and let the debt collector know that conversation is being recorded. Without the recording or some evidence of the language used, it is difficult to support the claim against the collectors.

Some factors of the Fair Debt Collection Act include that a debt collection agency representative must not communicate or threaten to communicate to anyone credit information about the consumer which he knows or should know is false. If the consumer is disputing the debt, any communication regarding the debt must also include the fact that the consumer is disputing it. If the debt collector talks to or otherwise communicates with anyone about the consumerīs credit, he cannot be law give any information which he knows or should know is incorrect.

Other fair debt collection laws include that a debt collection agency must not publish or post or threaten the consumer that he will publish or post individual names or any list of names of consumers, commonly know as a "deadbeat list," for the purpose of enforcing or attempting to enforce debt collection of the consumerīs debt. If a debt collector threatens to place a consumerīs name on a "deadbeat list" or in any manner make the debt public information, the consumer has the right to ask that the debt collector notify the consumer in writing.

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