Accounts Receivable Management Featured Article

Arming Consumers with Their Rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

January 23, 2013

It’s no secret the debt collection industry is booming. A stagnant economy plus high employment has led to rising levels of debt among Americans, and collections agencies are busier than ever before. While a majority of debt collectors follow the laws set by the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, there are anecdotes aplenty in the press of companies that abuse the rules laid out in that legislation.

Recent news stories have seen debt collectors fined for refusing to take relay calls from hearing impaired debtors, collections firms harassing individuals for debts that are not theirs, agencies calling cell phones or making calls before 8:00 am, and debt collection companies and individuals accused of threatening debtors fined and banned from working in the industry after settling with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC (News - Alert)).

While the FTC works hard to identify the bad actors in the collections industry, the agency has limited resources and manpower, so it’s incumbent upon consumers to know what debt collectors may and may not do. To help consumers better understand their rights, the website, the Consumerist ,recently prepared a list of things debt collectors cannot do when attempting to collect an outstanding debt. They may not:

1. Call before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. without permission;

2. Contact a debtor at work if they’ve been asked not to;

3. Use threats of violence or harm;

4. Obscene or profane language;

5. Publish or threaten to publish a list of names of people who refuse to pay their debts;

6. Falsely claim that they are attorneys or government representatives; or send fake legal or government documents;

7. Falsely claim a debtor has committed a crime; or threaten to seize property;

8. Falsely represent that they operate or work for a credit reporting company;

9. Misrepresent the amount owed;

10. Claim debtors can be arrested if they don’t pay their debt;

11. Threaten to seize, garnish, attach, or sell a debtor’s property or wages unless they are permitted by law to take the action and intend to do so; or

12. Use a false company name;

13. Try to collect any interest, fee, or other charge on top of the amount owed unless the contract that created the debt or relevant state law allows the charge;

14. Garnish any of the following, even after proving their case against a debtor in a lawsuit: Social Security benefits, veteran’s benefits, civil service and federal retirement and disability benefits, student assistance, service member’s pay, military annuities and survivor’s benefits, or Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) federal disaster assistance.

15. Contact a debtor who has notified them in writing that they do not wish to be contacted again (unless they are notifying you of a lawsuit).

Violations of these rules may be reported to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) here.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.




Edited by Brooke Neuman

Article comments powered by Disqus

Related Accounts Receivable Management Articles

SaaS Provider Offers Accounts Payable Improvements to Material Handling Company

A global software-as-a-service company that provides enterprise content management solutions through the cloud announced last week that it has opened up a contract with a "leading material handling equipment company." [ Read More ]
08/18/2014

Cotton On Group Selects Xcellerate IT

Cotton On Group, one of the Australia's largest value fashion brands, has selected Xcellerate IT as the preferred solution provider to implement a best practice invoice automation solution within their Accounts Payable (AP) department. [ Read More ]
08/18/2014

Wolters Kluwer Financial Services Partners with Broadridge Tax Services

Wolters Kluwer Financial Services, a company that provides risk management, compliance, finance and audit solutions, recently announced that it has joined hands with Broadridge Tax Services, a technology services company, to deliver Phase 3 Debt functionality to support Cost Basis and Tax Reporting compliance. [ Read More ]
08/14/2014

BlueOSS Reveals New Cost Reconciliation Capability at ITEXPO 2014

The exciting reveals continue during ITEXPO 2014, happening now through August 14 at the Rio in Las Vegas. This year's event represents a lot for BlueOSS, a leading provider of telecom billing software and operational support systems-the company this week announced its all new cost reconciliation capability as a part of its industry leading cloud billing solution, Cloud Innovation Suite (CIS). [ Read More ]
08/13/2014
FREE Accounts Receivable Management enewslettter.

Events

Weekly Live Demo
Contact Center Solutions

Register Today!


Weekly Live Demo
CaaS Small Center

Register Today!