Debt collection is a major industry that helps serve other businesses. It would be very difficult for every individual company that deals with non-payment from customers to manage debt collection in-house. Debt collection companies serve a critical role by allowing businesses to take steps to collect on a debt without paying their own staff to do so.
People who work at debt collection companies typically receive training in order to comply with federal law regarding fair debt collection practices. However, either due to a lack of training or an individual’s personal aggressive approach, it is sometimes possible for consumers to wind up facing a violation of their rights.
Whether you are someone dealing with a collection agency attempting to collect on a debt or a company engaging in debt collection activity, it’s important to know what kind of behavior violates fair debt collection law in the United States.
Collection agencies cannot make threats
It is possible for a company to take legal action against someone who does not pay a verifiable debt, including filing a civil lawsuit in an attempt to garnish their wages. However, collection agents should never verbally threaten someone with harm or send letters that the person receiving could construe as a threat.
Collection phone calls cannot occur late at night or early in the morning
It would be very easy for collection companies to abuse and harass people into a state of diminished health and mental acuity if they could legally interrupt people’s sleep whenever they wanted to. As a result, federal standards for debt collection prohibit phone calls made to people prior to 8 in the morning or after 9 at night.
The only exception to this rule could potentially involve an individual who works third shift who notifies a collection company in writing of their desire to be contacted during otherwise prohibited hours because they sleep during the day.
Collection agents shouldn’t call someone at work without permission
Many employers don’t let people take personal calls at work. Even if they do allow the occasional call, debt collectors can make a habit of calling someone every day and keeping them on the phone for as long as possible. If an individual asks a debt collection company to stop calling them at their place of employment because doing so endangers their job, the company should stop doing so.
There are many opportunities to contact people who have not paid their debts and many legal means to motivate someone to pay a bill. Companies do not need to stoop to illegal tactics in order to be proactive in their debt collection practices.