What Are My Rights Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?

In these still trying economic times, many Georgia families are facing increased financial difficulties as their bills and their debts keep going up while their income remains the same or even decreases due to unemployment.  When confronted with large amounts of debt, filing bankruptcy becomes a more and more attractive option for Georgians who seek a clean financial slate and a reduced debt burden to help them and their families get back on their feet.

However, many people choose not to pursue bankruptcy because they do not know about the protections of the bankruptcy system and they are afraid of the consequences.  Often, clients have embarrassing stories about collection agencies confronting them at work or even at home, and they are afraid of how these agencies will further mistreat them if they file bankruptcy.

In order to prevent the mistreatment of Americans who are having trouble paying their bills, Congress enacted the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) several years ago.  The purpose of the FDCPA is to ensure that Americans’ privacy rights are protected by preventing collection agencies and other creditors from hassling, threatening, or bothering debtors, or otherwise acting inappropriately when collecting debts.

To achieve these goals, the FDCPA established a number of ground rules that creditors and collection agencies must following including:

(1)   A prohibition on debt collectors contacting individuals before 8am or after 9pm

(2)   A prohibition on debt collectors making false statements or lying to individuals (such as pretending to be another company or the government when contacting individuals)

(3)   A prohibition on debt collectors making violent threats, using profane or obscene language, or publishing lists of individuals who are not paying their debts

(4)   A prohibition on debt collectors contacting individuals at their places of employment after the individuals specifically instruct the collectors not to do so

(5)   A prohibition on debt collectors contacting other people (such as family, neighbors, friends, employers, co-workers, etc.) about the individual’s debts multiple times

If you are being mistreated by your creditors, your legal rights are being violated.  Contact our office today to speak to a skilled bankruptcy attorney about your case.  We can help you not only emerge from bankruptcy with a clean financial slate, but we can also assist you in dealing with your creditors and making sure they abide by the FDCPA and respect your rights.