Most adults in Tennessee have encountered financial challenges. Loss of income, medical bills and other issues create hardship. In recent years, economic turbulence has spurred high amounts of credit card debt for many people.
Having credit card debt does not give collection agents a right to harass someone. In fact, there are several key things that debt collectors are not allowed to do. Those who are struggling with debt and are facing problems with relentless phone calls or rude behavior from collectors will be glad to know that there are financial tools available that can activate a stay against collections.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)
The FDCPA strictly prohibits certain behavior by third-party agents who are attempting to collect a debt on behalf of the party to whom the debt is supposedly owed. If agents are ringing a person’s phone off the hook in the early morning or late-night hours, this is a violation of the FDCPA. In fact, the law mandates that collectors must limit phone contact to hours between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. unless a consumer has given permission to call at another time.
Collectors also cannot threaten to garnish wages or repossess property. Finally, a collection agency may not contact a consumer’s employer unless the debt in question is unpaid child support. A consumer can send a notice to collectors who are engaging in harassment, telling them to cease communications. A consumer who has insurmountable credit card debt may also want to explore bankruptcy options, particularly because certain programs activate an automatic stay against all collection activities, including foreclosures.