Your Rights & Benefits

Your Benefits

Clients

Clients are released from credit worries and relieved of creditor calls. Able to pay off debts without further borrowing.

Creditors

Creditors receive payments on a regular schedule. Reduces collection expenses, legal action and customer bankruptcy. Participating creditors also create goodwill with their customers, creating loyal customers who will surely remember those companies that lent a helping hand in the client’s time of need.

Employers

Employees receive fewer collection calls and garnishments on the job, avoiding an administrative nightmare for employers and resulting in better production and attendance records. Debt problems left unaddressed may also contribute to higher rates of employee theft.

Communities

Money is recovered that may otherwise be lost to bankruptcy. Saving costs that arise from many social problems associated with bad debt (alcohol/drug abuse, marital breakdowns, etc.) These problem areas are often increased when financial difficulties are not addressed.

Your Rights

The Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was enacted in 1977 to protect consumers from unfair and abusive collection practices. The law regulates professional, third-party collection businesses, agents and attorneys, but not “in-house” collectors, or employees of creditors who collect their own debts.

The FDCPA States:

Within five working days after you are first contacted by a debt collector, that agency must send you a written notification of the amount of the debt and the name of the creditor who referred the debt to the agency. This notice should also inform you of your right to dispute the debt within 30 days of its receipt.

NOTIFICATION

A debt collector may:
  • Contact you only between 8 am and 9pm your time, unless you give permission to call at other times.
  • Contact you on Sundays and holidays, unless you tell them not to call. You must state verbally or in writing that you do not want to be contacted on a particular day of the week or a particular holiday.
  • Call you at work, unless you inform the collector that your employer prohibits it.
  • Contact you by mail so long as there is no reference to the debt on the envelope.
  • Contact people who aren’t directly involved in your debt to get information on where you live and work so long as it is not a communication about the debt. The collector must state their name, but only give the name of their employer if the person specifically asks them to. They may only contact each person once, unless they believe that the person gave incorrect or incomplete information at the time, but now has complete or updated information.
  • Contact you directly unless you have informed them that you are represented by an attorney regarding this debt. (You should tell the agency how to reach your attorney).

COLLECTORS RIGHTS

A debt collector may:
  • Only use business-like language. This prohibits threats of violence or profane, obscene or abusive language.
  • Deposit a check on or after the date on the check. If a check is post-dated by more than 5 days, the collector must notify you, in writing, 3 to 10 days before depositing it.
  • Add charges that are by law or by your original agreement with the creditor.
A debt collector may not:
  • Make repetitive or excessively frequent phone calls to annoy or harass you.
  • Misrepresent their identity.
  • Misrepresent the legal status of your debt, falsely accuse you of criminal activity, or indicate that any document is legal process if it is not.
  • Threaten to take any action that is illegal or that the collector does not actually intend to take.

YOUR RIGHTS

Within 30 days of being contacted by a debt collector, you may send a written dispute of the debt or any part of it. The collector must then obtain proof of the debt and stop all collection efforts until they send this proof to you.
You may send a written request that the collector stop all contact with you. The collector may then contact you only once more, to advise you as to what legal or other action the collector or creditor intends to take, or to inform you that you will no longer be contacted. Be aware, however, of the possible consequences of invoking this provision. Once you have stopped communication with a collection agency, the agency may initiate legal action or return your account to the original creditor for legal action, depending upon the type, circumstances, and amount of the debt, the policies of the creditor and the laws in your state. If a court enters a judgment against you, the creditor may pursue remedies such as repossession, liens or wage garnishment.
The cease communication provision can protect you from an abusive collector. It won’t, however, resolve the problem of the unpaid debt.

COMPLAINTS

If you believe that a collector is breaking the law, you may want to talk with the collector’s manager or the agency’s owner, who may not be aware of the collector’s actions. You may also want to contact the American Collectors Association, P.O. Box 390106, Minneapolis, MN 55439-0106, which will work to resolve the issue.