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Federal authorities target unscrupulous debt collectors

On behalf of Bankruptcy Law Firm of Clare Casas on Monday, November 30, 2015.

Many people in Florida who are contacted by debt collectors do not understand their rights. Debt collectors are not allowed to engage in harassing behavior by making threats, using foul language or calling repeatedly. In mid-November, the Federal Trade Commission declared that it would be cracking down on collection agencies that use unlawful tactics to collect debts.

The fair collection practices enforcement initiative by the Federal Trade Commission will reportedly be the first of its kind. Federal authorities will target debt collectors who harass consumer debtors over the phone and make false threats about wage garnishment, arrest and lawsuits.

If a consumer does not wish to speak to debt collectors over the phone, they are allowed to request email communication instead. Doing this may provide the debtor with better records of all of their communications with a debt collection agency. Debt collectors are not allowed to contact a debtor after 9 p.m. or before 8 a.m. unless the debtor agrees to be contacted during this time. After being contacted by a debt collector, a debtor may write the collection agency to say that they do not agree that they owe the debt. After receiving a letter, the collection agency must stop all collection activities until they can show proof of the debt.

Even when a person is aware of their rights, being contacted by debt collectors can be intimidating. A lawyer may be able to help an individual who is overwhelmed by debt to stop collection attempts and take control of their debts by consolidating them. If a person cannot afford to make payments on their debt, filing for bankruptcy may be an advisable option.

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