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Collection Agency Laws: Most Frequently Asked Questions

Despite certain laws being enforced to protect consumer rights, many debtors are still facing grave threats and abuse from determined collection agencies who want to extract every single penny they can get their hands on. Now, the key in protecting yourself against these abuses is to arm yourself with information in protecting consumer rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act or FDCPA. Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about FDCPA:

Apart from consumer debt, does the FDCPA apply to business debts as well?

Unfortunately, business debtors do not have the same rights as consumer debtors. Therefore, the FDCPA do not apply to business debts.

I’m getting collection calls day and night, are collection agencies allowed to call debtors at any given time?

By law, collection agencies are not prohibited from calling debtors before 8 in the morning or beyond 9 in the evening, in your time zone. While there is no definite rule on how many allowable times a collection agent may call a debtor, it is understood that they cannot use collection calls as part of their efforts to have the debt repaid.

Can I get arrested for unpaid consumer debts?

The quick answer is no, you cannot get arrested for consumer debts nor face jail time for it. Only a court of law has the power to release a warrant for your arrest, not the debt collector. If you were threatened in any way, of having the police arrest you for your debts, they are violating your rights and you can sue them for it.

Can a collection agency file a credit card lawsuit for my unpaid credit card debts?

Yes, some collection agencies would file credit card lawsuit and they have the right to do so. However, they cannot threaten a debtor with a credit card lawsuit unless they followed through. In addition, creditors can no longer file a credit card lawsuit nor threaten to file a credit card lawsuit if the debt is no longer within statutes.

I still get collection calls for old debts, is this legal?

Yes, they can collect old debts as long as the debts are within statutes. Each state has different rules regarding the statutes of limitation. Usually, the statutes of limitation will range from three to ten years. Once the debt is out of statutes, the creditor can no longer collect it nor can they file a credit card lawsuit or threaten you with taking legal actions.

What can I do to stop all collection efforts?

A Cease and Desist letter sent to the collection agency is one of the simplest ways to stop all collection efforts. They can no longer call you at ungodly hours nor contact people around you discussing your finances.

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