Debt collectors have a reputation for harassing people, but that doesn't mean it's legal. If a debt collector has been contacting you and you think their agents are acting illegally, here's a list from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) of what they are not allowed to say or do under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA):
- Harassment. This includes threatening you with violence, publishing a list of names of people who refuse to pay their debts, using profane language, or repeatedly calling you just to be annoying.
- Making False Statements. This can involve all kinds of lies, including claiming that you have committed a crime, misrepresenting the amount of money you owe, or saying that papers they sent you are legal forms if they aren't.
- Engaging in Unfair Practices. Unfair practices may include trying to collect any kind of interest or fee on top of what you already owe (unless the contract that created your debt or Texas state law allows the change), depositing a post-dated check early, and contacting you by postcard.
Debt collectors also cannot say you'll be arrested if you don't pay your debt, give false credit information about you to anyone or use a false company name.
Being in debt does not mean that you are a criminal and—you should not allow debt collectors to treat you that way. Know your rights under the FDCPA and contact Houston debt attorney J. Thomas Black if you think that you may have a case.
On top of making sure debt collectors do not act illegally, Mr. Black can also help you consider your Texas debt relief options. Contact him today for a free consultation at 888-707-1233.