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Sometimes people get behind on a bill or can’t pay a debt. With the recent economic decline, this is truer than ever. When you get behind on a payment, you may be contacted by a debt collector to pursue what you owe. Unfortunately, not every debt collector follows the law and simply because you owe money to someone doesn’t mean a debt collector can harass or threaten you.
When a collector attempts to collect an unpaid debt, generally, the collector and/or collection company is required to abide by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Under the Act, a debt collector is broadly defined as “any person who uses any instrumentality of interstate commerce or the mails in any business the principal purpose of which is the collection of any debts, or who regularly collects or attempts to collect, directly or indirectly, debts owed or due or asserted to be owed or due to another.” Under the Act, debt collectors are required, among other things to:
– Identify themselves and notify the consumer, in every communication that they are a debt collector;
– Give the name and address of the original creditor;
– Provide verification of the debt; and
– Tell the consumer that the consumer has a right to dispute the debt.
Under the Act, debt collectors cannot, among other things:
– Threaten violence;
– Publish your name as an individual who won’t pay your debts;
– Lie about the money you owe;
– Falsely state that you have committed a crime;
– Call at unreasonable hours;
– Use a false company name;
– Use profanity when talking with you;
– Call you multiple times;
– Say that you will be arrested if you do not pay your debt;
– Give false information about your credit to anyone
Debt collectors are not above the law. If you are being harassed about a debt that you owe, call the lawyers at the Manchin Injury Law Group today to speak with a lawyer to see if we can help.