What Are The Rules That Debt Collectors Must Follow?
Those who have fallen behind on their payments know just how aggressive debt collectors can be. Ohio law doesn’t place restrictions on the conduct of debt collectors, but federal law does under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA). The rules don’t apply to original creditors and the law won’t stop debt collectors from attempting to collect a debt, but it does limit the strategies that they employ and it does mean that you can sue if you’ve been harassed illegally by debt collection agents. In this article, the Columbus debt collection harassment attorneys at Kohl & Cook will discuss what sorts of actions are illegal for debt collectors to take when attempting to recover a debt.
What rules are in place for debt collectors?
- No contacting third parties about your debt – It is unlawful for a debt collector to contact third parties concerning your debt unless the third party is the original creditor, your attorney, a credit reporting agency, a codebtor, or your spouse. If you don’t want codebtors or your spouse to be contacted, you can request that communications stop by sending a letter to the debt collector. The debt collector is required to abide by this request.
- No contacting debtors during inconvenient times – Debt collectors cannot call you between the hours of 9 pm and 8 am.
- Contacting you at work – Debt collectors cannot contact you at work or notify your employer that you have a debt.
- Debt collectors may not threaten you – Debt collectors may only issue threats that are within their power to make. This includes filing a lawsuit against you. If they cannot file a lawsuit against you, then they cannot threaten to file a lawsuit against you.
- Threatening to have you jailed or inform others about your debt – Debt collectors can issue no threat that is illegal for them to make. Debt collectors cannot threaten to have you thrown in jail for the nonpayment of a debt. Further, they cannot contact others concerning your debt.
- Lying about being a law enforcement officer – This is potentially criminal behavior and is illegal for debt collectors to misrepresent themselves as law enforcement.
- Lying about their identity – Debt collectors must announce who they are and what they are attempting to do. That means informing the individual who they are calling that they are a debt collections agency attempting to recover a debt.
- Adding fees to payments you make – Debt collectors may not add fees to any payment you make unless the original creditor allowed for such fees.
If you’re being harassed by debt collectors, the Columbus, OH consumer attorneys at Kohl & Cook Law Firm, LLC can help you stop creditor harassment and file a lawsuit if your creditor broke the law. We have helped several consumers manage aggressive debt collectors and illegal conduct by debt collectors. Call our office today to schedule a free consultation, and we can begin discussing your experience immediately.