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What Protections Do I Have From Debt Collectors?

Harassment

Debt collectors may not harass or abuse you or any third parties they contact. They cannot threaten with violence or harm.  They are not able to publish your name saying you refuse to pay.  Debt collectors can report to credit agencies.  When speaking to you they cannot use obscene or profane language or use the phone to annoy.

False Statements.

Debt collectors may not lie when they are trying to collect a debt.  They may not claim to be attorneys or government representatives.  They cannot tell you that you have committed a crime.  Collectors may not claim they work for a credit reporting company.  They are not allowed to claim you owe a different amount.  Debt collectors cannot misrepresent legal forms.

Debt Collectors Cannot Act as the Law

They cannot claim you will be arrested if you don’t pay your debt. Collectors cannot seize or garnish wages unless specifically permitted by law.

Unfair Practices

Debt collectors may not use unfair practices to collect a debt. They cannot try to collect any interest, fee, or other charge on top of the amount you owe.  Collectors may not deposit a post-dated check early or contact you by postcard.