Debt Collection Misconduct

Due to the apathetic nature of debtors and the persistent nature of creditors, there have been serious blow-ups that have happened during the many years of the Debt Collection industry’s existence. It could have been as minor as verbal disagreements. But, it could have also been as grave as lawsuits, threats, or even actual acts of physical harm.

This is why the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was established in the United States of America. The law is meant to prohibit abusive practices by debt collectors. And these practices can be summarized into three.

1) False Statements and Actions

Some collectors are good actors, while some are better strategists. But debtors should always be cautious because collectors are usually good with words and could sense what the average debtor fears, since they have already interacted with a lot of them. Forcing a debtor to divulge information or pay by means of misleading statements and actions is never acceptable to the law.

Among the common misleading statements and actions that collectors could make are:

-Falsely accuse the debtor of committing a crime -Threaten the debtor that he/she will get arrested -Pretend to be people who they are not (E.g. Government personnel, Lawyers) -Imply that legal documents have already been sent or are on the way even if these aren’t -Alter the amount of the debt -Use of falsified documents, especially those of legalities

2) Unfair Practices

The most unethical of collectors sometimes charge a debtor an amount that is separate from his/her actual debt. This shouldn’t be the case unless there is really a provision by the law. Collectors can also mislead debtors into paying for collect calls and telegrams they use. Baseless legal threats are welcome additions in this category as well.

3) Harassment

This is the worst form of abuse that collectors could commit because the acts under this category can cause more serious physical, emotional, and psychological effects on a person.

Some of the acts are: -Use threats of physical harm or violence -Use of profane language -Public humiliation of debtors with the use of print and broadcast media

Make sure any collection agency you select for your business is not violating any collection laws.

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