How to Tell if Your Debt Collector is Legitimate

by DeLadurantey Law Office, LLC on June 30, 2014

Debt shadowIf you are being harassed by a debt collector, it is imperative that you educate yourself about what the collector can and cannot do in attempting to collect a debt. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) prohibits debt collectors from using unfair, deceptive or abusive practices to collect money from borrowers.

The FDCPA defines a debt collector as a person or entity who routinely collects debts owed to others. The definition includes collection agencies, attorneys who regularly collect debts and companies that purchase delinquent accounts and try to collect on them.

So, what constitutes unfair or abusive practices? The FTC website provides a laundry list of actions that are prohibited, but below is a summary:

  • Unfair practices - Debt collectors may not engage in unfair practices when they try to collect a debt. They cannot try to collect additional amounts that are not allowed by contract or law, deposit a post-dated check early, threaten to take the borrower’s property unless it can be done legally, or contact a borrower by postcard.
  • Harassment– Debt collectors cannot threaten violence, use profane language, and threaten to publish a list of names of people who refuse to pay, or repeatedly call the debtor to annoy him into paying.
  • False statements– Debt collectors cannot lie about who they are, who they work for, the amount you owe, actions they will take against a borrower, or falsely claim the borrower has committed a crime. Collectors also cannot lie about documents they send to the borrower. Additionally, debt collectors cannot give false credit information about the borrower to anyone, including a credit reporting agency.

If you have a debt collector that is taking any of these actions against you, seek help. We can make sure you are not getting caught in a scam and, if it is a legitimate debt collector, we can help make the illegal activity stop. In fact, you may be able to recover damages for the collector’s wrongful actions!

For your student loan, bankruptcy, foreclosure, and debtor’s rights matters, contact DeLadurantey Law Office, LLC at (414) 377-0518. We serve the counties of Milwaukee, Waukesha, Kenosha, and Racine, including such areas as Milwaukee, Merton, Delafield City, Waukesha City, and Kenosha. Visit our web site and like us on Facebook.


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