Financial stress is something that many Tennessee residents are all too familiar with. Some may be barely making it, living paycheck to paycheck, and others may find themselves so deep in debt that many of their accounts have been sent to collections. The last thing anyone needs to deal with when already in a bad economic way is creditor harassment. Thankfully, the Fair Debt Collections Act exists to keep debt collectors in line. Here are a few of the rules collection agencies must abide by according to the FDCPA.
Rule number one: Can only contact a debtor certain times of the day. Before the FDCPA, collectors could call a person repeatedly, day or night. Now, they cannot call or text between the hours of 9 p.m. and 8 a.m., without making special arrangements first.
Rule number two: Can contact a debtor at his or her place of employment, unless asked not to. Work is usually stressful enough for most people. The last thing anyone needs is their personal life stressors complicating their workday. If a collector is contacting a person at work, he or she may request — verbally or in writing — that the collector no longer do so.
Rule number three: Must validate the debt. After making contact with a debtor, a collection agency is obligated to send a written validation notice. This notice must include the debtor’s name, how much is owed and the name of the creditor. It should also provide information about what to do if one believes the debt is incorrect.
Tennessee residents who find themselves dealing with debt collectors who are not following the guidelines set in the FDCPA may be able to do something about it. Not only can debt collectors be reported for violating the FDCPA, but legal claims may be filed against them in an effort to seek compensation for certain losses they may have caused. Legal counsel will have the ability to review the details of one’s case, help one fight back against creditor harassment, and go a step further and help one seek debt relief.
William E. Maddox, Jr. LLC, Attorney at Law is located in Knoxville, TN and serves clients in and around Knoxville, Oak Ridge, Louisville and Anderson County.
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