If you deny the legitimacy of something in your collection file, you must notify the collector in writing. Simply calling the collector will not stop collection activities. Can I be charged an additional fee? To determine if the collection service provider is authorized to pay additional charges on your debts, see your original contract. If you have agreed to pay “collection fees”, the collection agency may add reasonable fees such as attorneys` fees, court fees or credit reports. If the agency cashes a bad check, it can add collection and attorney fees as permitted by state law. Your lawyer should be able to tell you how much the agency can legally charge you. You are also entitled to an explanation from the collection agency as to how much they charge you and why. You should ask them by letter to explain this to you in writing. Yes. Negative information – such as outstanding debts – can usually remain on your credit report for up to seven years.
Your credit card debt, car loans, medical bills, student loans, mortgages and other household debts are covered by the FDCPA. Corporate debts are not. You can also request that a debt collection agency not call you at your workplace. Send the same type of letter as described above and ask the collection agency not to contact you at work. By law, the collection service provider must comply with it. Debt collection practices in Texas must comply with both the Texas Debt Collection Act and the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The Federal Trade Commission provides an excellent source of detailed information on its fair collection site; Most of the text on this page is presented here for your convenience. (FTC page in Spanish) If you owe a debt, act quickly – preferably before it is sent to a collection agency. Contact your creditor, explain your situation and try to create a payment plan. As a rule, creditors help you catch up. A tax collector can contact you personally, by mail, telephone, telegram or fax.
However, a debt collection agency cannot contact you at awkward times or places, such as before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m., unless you consent. A debt collection agency is also not allowed to contact you at work if the tax collector knows that your employer disapproves of such contacts. A “limited content message” is a type of voicemail that a collection agency may leave with you that must contain certain information. Messages with limited content should include the following: Keep in mind that paying off an old debt may not remove it from your credit history. When you pay off the debt, some debt collectors will report it on your credit report to show that you have not paid the full amount. If you only question part of the invoice, the collection agency cannot continue to collect that part until it has verified it for you. Since you would still be responsible for the rest of the bill, you should make arrangements to pay the undisputed portion. If a debt collector threatens to take your home or seize your salary, you may be the victim of a collection scam. Submit a complaint to us immediately.
Violations of the Texas Debt Collection Act are subject to criminal and civil penalties. If you think you`ve been harassed or deceived, you can even seek injunctions and damages against debt collection agencies. Restrictions on Communications by Debt Collectors When Collecting a Debt The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a federal law that imposes restrictions on what collection agencies can do when collecting certain types of debts. The federal Fairness in Credit Assessment Act regulates how debt collection is reported in credit reports. In addition, there are state laws that offer protection. A debt collector usually can`t discuss your debt with anyone other than you or your spouse. If a lawyer represents you and you have communicated it to the collector, the collection agency must contact the lawyer. A debt collector may contact other people to find out your address, personal phone number, and place of work, but usually can`t contact them more than once and not tell them you owe a debt. Debt collectors may call you or send you letters, emails, or text messages to collect a debt. A collector cannot contact you if you send a letter to the collection agency within 30 days of receiving written notice that you do not owe any money.
However, a debt collector may renew collection activities if you receive proof of debt, such as a copy of an invoice for the amount owed. Are you late in your invoices? Or have you been mistaken for someone else who is behind on their bills? If this is the case, you may receive phone calls asking you to pay a debt. While debt collection agencies are not prohibited from making reasonable attempts to collect legitimate debts or sue you, consumer protection laws prohibit misleading and unfair collection practices and protect you from harassment, abuse, and invasion of privacy. You may be asking these common questions about your situation. What happens if I want to challenge the guilt? If you are not liable for the debt, or if the debt has already been paid, send a written statement to the collection agency that you are refusing all or part of the debt. Since a debt collection agency is required to review the debt by providing information that responds to your request, you must provide the collection agency with sufficient information in your dispute resolution letter so that the company can investigate any contentious matter. If necessary, include copies of receipts, void checks, and other information to secure your claim. Be sure to include a statement that your letter is in no way intended to acknowledge that you owe this or any other amount of money.
If you receive the requested information or the response to your dispute from the collection agency, check that your own records match the information provided by the collection agency. Do I have to pay a debt that is considered prescribed? False information – Debt collection agencies cannot provide false or misleading information when collecting a claim. For example, debt collectors can`t: When a debt collector first contacts you or shortly thereafter, they are usually required to provide certain information about the debt. If the information is provided in writing or electronically, it is a notice of validation and usually contains information such as: Remember that it is advantageous for the creditor to avoid the intervention of a collection agency. However, if it appears that you cannot pay the debt within a reasonable period of time, the creditor can sell the debt to a collection agency for less than the face value of the debt. The creditor has no obligation to inform you that he is returning or selling your account to a collection agency. Once the debt collection agency is involved, they will try to collect the debt from you up to the full amount. Can I sue the collection service provider through a private lawyer? Yes. Under the FDCPA, you have the right to sue a debt collector in state or federal court within one year from the date of the violation. If you win, you can claim damages for the amount of losses you suffered as a result of the breach, plus an additional amount of up to $1,000.00.
You may also be able to recover court costs and attorneys` fees. Can a debt collection agency communicate with others about me or my debts? If you have a lawyer, the FDCPA prohibits a debt collector from contacting anyone other than your lawyer. If you don`t have a lawyer, the debt collection agency can contact other people, but only to find out where you live or work. However, the tax collector cannot tell these or other people (including your employer) that you owe money. When communicating with a person other than the person who owes the debt, the collection agent must provide his or her own name, but may not provide the name of the collection agency unless specifically requested. If a debt is prescribed, a debt collector can no longer sue you to collect it. In fact, it is illegal for a debt collector to sue you for not paying a prescribed debt. If you are sued for a prescribed debt, tell the judge that the statute of limitations has expired. The debt usually doesn`t go away, but debt collectors have a limited amount of time to sue you to collect a debt.
This period is called a “statute of limitations” and usually begins when you miss a payment for a debt. After the expiry of the limitation period, your unpaid debt is considered “time-barred”. If a debt collection action is brought against you, you must respond by the date indicated in court documents. And you can respond in person or through your lawyer. This will protect your rights. Don`t ignore the trial. For more information, read what to do if a debt collector sues you. Creditors do not want to use a debt collection agency.
But if it looks like you`re not paying, they will. The creditor will sell your debt to a collection agency for less than the face value, and the collection agency will then attempt to collect the entire debt from you. Who is a debt collector? Under the Federal Act on Fair Debt Collection Practices (FDCPA), a debt collection agency is any person who regularly collects debts from others. These include lawyers who collect debts, as well as debt collection agencies and other companies that collect debts for other companies. The FDCPA does not apply to a creditor who collects his own overdue accounts. Here are five important things you need to know about the new collection rule. Is the process the same if I owe multiple debts? If the same collection agent attempts to collect multiple debts from you, the collection agency will need to make a separate notice for each debt. You must dispute each debt separately, and the collector must provide separate validation information for each debt.
The FDCPA does not cover corporate debt. It also usually does not cover recovery by the original creditor with whom you first contracted your debt. If the disputed item is incorrect. It must be corrected. The collection contractor must notify anyone who has already received a report with the wrong item.