When it comes to debt collectors in Chicago and around the nation, the
law does allow for certain
consumer rights. The law extends beyond collection agencies to include lawyers who collect
on debts and companies that purchase bad debts with the intention of collecting
on them. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act covers a wide range of
debts, including personal, household, family and secured debts. Business
debts are not protected under the FDCPA.
People who are receiving calls from debt collectors often have concerns
about being contacted while at work or at inappropriate times. The law
clearly states that debt collectors may not call at inconvenient times,
such as before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. Furthermore, the law prevents collectors
from calling an individual at work once they are informed that the individual
is not allowed to receive calls while on the job.
The law also allows individuals to stop the phone calls completely by sending
a written statement to the collection agency informing them that all future
contact must be done in writing. The request must be written, and consumers
are encouraged to keep a copy of the letter for their own records. Sending
the request will not eliminate the debt, but it will prevent the collection
agencies from initiating further contact with the individual. The two
exceptions to this request include notifications that specific action
will be taken, such as filing a lawsuit, or to inform the creditor that
there will be no further contact from them.
Consumers may also take steps if they believe that the debt is not valid.
Attorneys are able to assist debtors with letter requesting proof of the
debt owed, or they may work with the consumer to establish that a debt
is fraudulent or has already been paid. Finally, consumers may take legal
action against a collection agency if they believe that the agency made
false claims, engaged in harassment or other unfair practices.
Source: The Federal Trade Commission , "
Debt Collection", October 06, 2014