These days, you may find it easy to fall into debt, thanks to factors such as Ohio’s high cost of living and the challenges associated with paying medical bills, student loans and other necessary expenditures. If your debt is of, say, the credit card or medical variety, you may attract the unwanted attention of a debt collector, and some of the tactics they may use to frighten you are not only unethical, but illegal. At Rauser & Associates Legal Clinic LLP, we have a firm understanding of the difference between legal and illegal debt collection methods, and we use this knowledge to help numerous clients find relief from creditor harassment.
As a consumer, you have certain protections. Per the Federal Trade Commission, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act provides guidelines as to what constitutes creditor harassment, and it applies to debts you might accrue not only via credit cards and medical bills, but also through auto and home loans, among others. It prevents, for example, creditors from using deceptive tactics to scare you into paying your debt, such as claiming to be an attorney or threatening to arrest you if your debt is not promptly paid in full.
It also outlines when, where and how debt collectors may contact you. If you are contacted at work and you tell them you cannot receive this type of communication during work hours, they must cease doing so. They also may not, unless you say otherwise, contact you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m., or send notice to your home or business about your debt in the form of a postcard.
Identifying illegal debt collection practices is the first step in keeping aggressive creditors at bay. More about how to find debt relief can be found on our web page.