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Understanding the FDCPA

Like many of the clients that we here at Rauser and Associates Legal Clinic LLP have worked with in Cleveland, you no doubt have every intention of staying caught up on your debt payments. Yet should missing a payment give your creditors (or their representatives) the right to hound you whenever and wherever they want until you are caught up again? Of course not. The federal government is on your side in this situation, having shown so with the passage of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Do you ever wonder why, when you get a call from a creditor or a collection agency regrading aa delinquency, that the representative always begins the conversation by saying “This is an attempt to collect a debt, and any information you give will be used for that purpose?” Such is mandated by the FDCPA. This federal law was enacted specifically to stop abusive debt collection practices. According to the Federal Trade Commission, the FDCPA forbids the following actions in attempts to collect a debt:

  •          The use of violence (or threat thereof) to harm you, your reputation or your property
  •          The use of foul or obscene language
  •          Publishing your name as a consumer who refuses to pay a debt
  •          Advertising your debt as a means of coercion for you to pay
  •          Engaging you in a telephone conversation specifically meant to annoy
  •          Creditor representatives calling without disclosing their identity or intent

Furthermore, the FDCPA allows you to dictate the time and method through which a creditor is allowed to contact you, what information (if any) it may share with a third party, and if you want to cease communication altogether. More information regarding your rights as a debtor can be found here on our site. 

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