How To Stop Abusive Debt Collection Tactics

In the United States, laws have been developed to prevent consumers from facing abusive debt collection tactics, such as harassment and breach of privacy, that can negatively impact their personal and financial lives.

The law gives you rights.


Congress enacted the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) in 1978 as a way to protect consumers from the abusive and previously  unregulated practices of debt collectors. By outlining a thorough list  of rules regulating how and when debt collectors can communicate with  and obtain payment from debtors, the act prohibits debt collectors from using certain tactics.

know and assert your rights

The first step in protecting your rights when it comes to debt  collection is to know what they are and assert them by taking the  appropriate actions. Some rules within the FDCPA, for instance, only  require debt collectors to stop certain tactics if the consumer tells  them to stop through writing.

work with an attorney

While working with an attorney isn’t necessary to assert your rights  against abusive collection tactics, it may be helpful. A debt collection  attorney can act as the sole point of contact with a collector, handle  lawsuits made by or against the collector and possibly even negotiate to  adjust the terms or reduce the amount of debt owed.

get info about your debts

Along with knowing your rights when it comes to debt collection, it’s  important that you know exactly what you owe and when you owe it, as  well as the potential consequences of not paying. As stated previously,  if you don’t have all the information already, you can ask the collector  in writing to verify the debt amount as well as the name and address of  the original creditor.

report violations

By reporting violations of the FDCPA, you can protect your own rights and those of others who may also encounter the abusive tactics of the same debt collector. You can file complaints with the FTC, your state  attorney general’s office and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).