Practice Areas

Consumer Rights

Unfair Debt Collection

Many people fall behind on paying their bills or have trouble getting out of debt. Debt can be embarrassing, stressful, and leave you feeling vulnerable. Debt collectors may try to take advantage this. Fortunately, there are laws that protect you by prohibiting certain actions by debt collectors.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a federal law that regulates the conduct of debt collectors. The law protects consumers from deceptive, harassing, or unfair debt collection practices. Many states also have laws to regulate debt collection practices. Some of the federal law protections are summarized below.

The FDCPA provides consumers with certain additional rights. For example, a debt collector must provide you with information concerning the amount of the debt and the creditor to whom the debt is owed, and provide you 30 days to dispute the debt. If you dispute the debt in writing, the collector must provide you with verification of the debt. Moreover, if you advise the creditor in writing that you refuse to pay the debt and want the collector to stop contacting you, the collector must cease further communications with you (with limited exceptions).

Anna P. Prakash

Consumer Law Attorney
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It is illegal for debt collectors to:

  • Call before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m., unless you have given the debt collector permission to contact you during those hours.
  • Cause your phone to ring for extended periods of time or making repeated phone calls to harass or annoy you.
  • Contact you at work if they are told you are not allowed to get calls there.
  • Threaten to take legal action against you that is not permitted by law or is not actually being considered.
  • Make false statements in an effort to collect the debt (Ex: misrepresent the amount you owe, falsely claim to be an attorney, falsely claim that you committed a crime, use stationery that is designed to look like an official court or government communication, etc.)
  • Use obscene or profane language.
  • Threaten you with arrest if you do not pay the debt.
  • Threaten you with violence or harm

Nichols Kaster understands how unfair it can feel to take on a debt collector on your own. Please contact us contact us if you have been a victim of any of these or other illegal debt collection practices. Our experienced class action attorneys practice nationwide and we would like to hear from you.