If you or your family have been receiving harassing phone calls from debt collectors, you should know what your rights are under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. These collectors could be collection agencies, lawyers who collect debts, and companies that buy third-party debts.

The Act covers any personal, family or household debt, such as credit cards, auto loans, medical debt and your mortgage. It doesn’t cover any debt that may arise from owning a business.

Under the FDCPA, you have the following rights:

  • Debt collectors may not contact you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. unless you agree to it.

  • Collectors may not call you at work if you tell them that you are not allowed to get personal calls at work.

  • They may not use threats of violence or harm, or use obscene language.

  • Collectors are not allowed to lie, such as saying that you will go to jail over the debt or claiming that you have committed a crime by not paying the debt.

  • Collectors may not repeatedly call you in an attempt to annoy or harass you.

  • Debt collectors may contact your friends or relatives once, in an attempt to find out where you live or work. They are not allowed to tell those people about your debt, but merely get contact information for you.

What Are Your Options With Debt Collectors?

If you think a creditor has broken the law, you have one year from the date of the violation to sue in state or federal court. You should always keep copies of everything you have sent to the collector, and everything they have sent you.

Additionally, you should write down the name and phone number of every collector you speak with, and be sure to write notes while they are talking to you. Include a summary of the conversation, as well as the date and time. In both Kansas and Missouri, phone calls can be recorded as long as one party to the conversation (you) consents to have the call recorded.

The Federal Trade Commission fined a Texas collection agency more than $3 million in July of 2013 for violating these practices. If a creditor is harassing you, you need a skilled attorney on your side. Call us today at 816-842-6200 to speak with a lawyer. Or you can email us and schedule your free consultation.

Jason C. Amerine
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President and Owner, Castle Law Office of Kansas City