Most creditors play by the rules, but some resort to deceptive or intimidating actions in order to recover money they are owed. Some creditors even resort to threats of violence in trying to collect debt.
A debt collector, or third-party collector, can be more than just someone sitting in a call center. Calls and letters can come from a collection agency or they may come from lawyers who collect on a regular basis. Some companies purchase overdue debts to collect on them.
If you're in debt, it's best not to ignore their attempts to contact you. But as you are legally bound to your debts, these collectors are bound to rules about how they retrieve repayment.
Under the State of California’s Rosenthal Act, you, as a debtor, have the right to be free from harassing letters and calls from creditors and collection agencies concerning unpaid debt. Taking action when it comes to debtor’s rights won’t cancel your debt, but it will prohibit creditors from bothering you at home or sending threatening letters on a regular basis.
In addition to protections afforded by the State of California, the United States federal government offers protections from collection companies who are abusive. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) prevents these entities from using obscene language, threatening violence or repeatedly calling you with the intention of annoying or abusing you. The FDCPA extends only to personal, family, and household debts related to auto loans, medical bills, credit cards and mortgages. Business do not receive any protections.
There are a variety of methods debt collectors are entitled to use in contacting you. These include:
Unless you agree to it, debt collectors may not contact you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. unless you have given consent for them to do so. They're restricted from calling your place of employment unless you have given verbal or written consent for them to do so.
Creditors can always choose to file a lawsuit to recover debt you owe them, but under the Rosenthal Act, they must stop harassing you as long as you send them a formal letter requesting that they do so. If they continue to call you and send you letters about your debt, they may be liable for violations of civil law.
Consumer debt collection laws are complex and may not be easy for you to tackle by yourself. If you are a debtor and are regularly receiving intimidating threats from creditors and collection agencies concerning your debt, get help. Talk to an experienced debtors’ rights lawyer attorney today.
With more than 25 years of experience in helping Californians manage their debts and financial crises, Reynolds Law Corporation may have answers for you. Attorney Stephen Reynolds can assist you in letting creditors know that their phone calls and letters must cease immediately, and he will hold them accountable if they don’t. Set up a consultation with Stephen today to explore your options.