If you have ever fallen behind on your debts you already know that dealing with your creditors can be a hassle, the easiest thing to do is to retain a Phoenix bankruptcy attorney. Sometimes it can be downright embarrassing. It doesn't have to be that way. With millions of people experiencing financial trouble it is absolutely necessary for everyone to know and understand their rights as a consumer concerning debt collection. Federal law requires that you receive fair and equal treatment from businesses issuing credit. This law applies when they evaluate your applications for credit, insurance, employment, and even leases.
The one area where we receive the most complaints are from individuals that are being harassed by collection agencies These complaints range from debt collectors contacting their work and family members to being called names. All of these are a direct violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). This article spells out exactly what your rights are as a consumer.
Here are some areas of this article directly from the Federal Trade Commission's web site to ensure that the information is explained exactly as the law applies. These areas are identified.
The FDCPA lists the following guidelines that must be followed by all debt collectors:
(Copied from the Federal Trade Commission web site)
Debt collectors may contact you only between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.
Debt collectors may not contact you at work if they know your employer disapproves.
Debt collectors may not harass, oppress, or abuse you.
Debt collectors may not lie when collecting debts, such as falsely implying that you have committed a crime.
Debt collectors must identify themselves to you on the phone.
Debt collectors must stop contacting you if you ask them to in writing.
It also prohibits debt collectors from engaging in unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices while collecting these debts.
It is very important to keep a record of any contact you make with your creditors especially when there is a dispute or misunderstanding regarding your account. You should list the name and address of the company, date and time of the call, the name of the person you spoke with and the content of the call.
Another important aspect of your consumer rights is Credit Reporting. Derogatory information in your Credit Report can have serious consequences. It is ultimately your responsibility to ensure that the information in your credit report is accurate and up to date.
There are numerous companies that offer "Free Credit Reports", however, you are obligated to sign up for their "Debt Monitoring Service" which usually costs about $80. You will receive a free credit report and if you cancel your monitoring service within 30 days it will cost you nothing.
Your best bet is to order your credit report directly from a Credit Reporting Agency. It will only cost you about $9. Below is a list of the three main companies:
PO Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 03074-0241
PO Box 2104
Allen, TX 75013-2104
(888) EXPERIAN (888-397-3742)
PO Box 1000
Chester, PA 19022
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