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For most of this week, I assumed that you were dealing with debt that has NOT gone into collections.
But I know some of you have debt that has gone into collections and you have a lot questions about how to stop the debt collectors from calling, how to negotiate your outstanding debt, and a lot more questions that pertain to your specific financial situation.
Today’s lifework is about building your knowledge and getting more support.
Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, federal law sets down a specific set of rules that third-party debt collectors must follow when contacting you about a debt. Debts covered under this law include auto loans, medical bills and credit card bills.
They can’t some of the following unfair and deceptive practices to collect debt from you:
- Call you at all types of hours. They can only call between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m., and not at times deemed inconvenient to you, the consumer, unless you have given them permission to call you at other times.
- Call repeatedly in a short period of time in order to harass you.
- Threaten that you will go to jail or that they will make the debts public.
- Call your employer about your debt, unless it represents unpaid child support.
- Call you again if you tell them not to do so, but their collection efforts can continue.
- Garnish your wages or take other personal property to satisfy the debt. In order for that to happen, they must sue you in a court of law and obtain a court judgment. The federal government is one of the only creditors allowed to garnish without such a judgment.
- Cash post-dated checks early
- Charge you any fees, penalties, or interest that was not agreed to in the original contract with the creditor.
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You may report any trouble you may have with a creditor or collection agency to your state’s Attorney General’s office (http://www.naag.org/) and the Federal Trade Commission (http://www.ftc.gov/). You can also review the terms of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act on the Federal Trade Commission’s website: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre18.shtm.
Share something new that you learned about your debt from Day 27 in The Happy Finances Community.
That’s it for today’s lifework!
Also, leave a comment below with your “aha” moment or reach out to your accountability partner(s) for questions and insights.
Finally, hit me up and share your insights. I’m cheering you on.
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The Mama Bear Principle: Mama Bears are protective of their cubs and their crew. And that’s exactly how I feel about our community. Throughout the Happy Finances Challenge, I may recommend some products and service and receive some form of compensation. However, I would NEVER suggest them unless I truly believed they were useful or helpful.