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Know Your Rights: Don’t Succumb to Unfair Debt Collection Practices

Earlier this month, the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau vowed to crack down on unfair debt collection practices. The announcement followed on the heels of a fine levied by the FTC against a debt collection agency [3]¬†for its unfair and illegal practices.¬†Between the record fine of $3.2 million, and the announcement that the CFPB is about to get really serious about cracking down, it’s even more important than ever that consumers know their rights as debtors.

While the argument can be made that those in debt should repay what they owe [4], it also doesn’t seem right that those in debt should be subjected to harassment. In some cases, debtors are trying to put together a plan to pay down debt [5], and the constant nagging from debt collectors doesn’t help.

If you are in debt, and collectors are starting to hound you, know your rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).

Your Rights under the FDCPA

First of all, it’s important to note that, for the most part, the FDCPA applies to third party debt collectors [6]. First part debt collectors (your creditors) can bend some of the rules a bit when it comes to trying to get back what they owe. However, once the account is turned over to collections, things change a little bit. A collection agency is restricted in what it can do in the quest to encourage you to make good. Here are some of the things you should know about your protections:

You have rights under the law. The CFPB is cracking down, and so is the FTC. You can report violations to both of those agencies, and even sue debt collectors [8] who violate the law.

(Photo: debomb1 [9])