If you repeatedly ignore your credit company's inquiries about delinquent funds, your case may be turned over to a debt collector. This Act prohibits unfair, deceptive and abusive debt-collection practices. Out of respect for your privacy and to protect you from harassment, debt collectors:
- May only contact your lawyer, spouse, guardian, executor, and administrator or parent (if you are a minor) about your debt.
- May inquire of others about how to find you, however, any aggressive behavior or harassment is not allowed.
- May contact you only between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.
- Must contact your lawyer instead of you if the debt collector knows you have retained a lawyer.
- Must identify himself or herself and the name of the debt collection company while collecting debts.
- May not contact you at work if he or she knows your employer disapproves.
- May not lie when collecting debts, for example, falsely implying that you'll be arrested.
- Must stop contacting you if you so request in writing. After that, the collector may contact you only once more, for example, to tell you what will happen next.
Contact the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Office of Consumer Protection at 202-326-3650, or online at www.ftc.gov for more information about consumer credit issues.
The Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS) is a non-profit service that can also answer questions about credit. Contact them at 1-800-640-CCCS or online at www.cccs-inc.org.