There are a number of laws on the books to protect people who have bad credit ratings or in a 2nd chance situation. These laws are important, and you should know about them in order to protect yourself from unfair practices performed by collection agencies. The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) was enacted to protect debtors from creditors and collection agencies.
As a debtor, you have a right to ask creditors and collection agencies to stop hounding you. You must contact these agencies right away and request that they end communication with you. You should write a letter carefully to avoid giving the collection agency anything it can use against you later on. If you have been threatened with a lawsuit, you can write an informal letter to ask the agency to stop harassing you.
You would be wise to attempt to negotiate with a creditor if you have a current debt especially with an apartment. Some creditors may reduce your balance or drop the debt completely in some cases. If you have a debt that is more than seven years old, do not have any communication with the collection agency about that bill. The account should have been removed from your credit report after seven years, and if it has not, the lender is in violation of the law.
Creditors tend to disregard lawsuits because they may feel they will not win them. If your debt is old, collectors want to avoid the high attorney fees associated with collecting it. If you owe a debt, you have the legal right to protect yourself. One of the best ways to resolve credit problems is to repair your credit.
Under the law, collection agencies cannot send mail to your address with any labels or symbols on it. They cannot call your family members about your debt. The agencies must stop communicating with you if you have received a subpoena to appear in court. Additionally, collection agencies cannot call a debtor before eight in the morning or nine in the evening. If you have retained an attorney, and the collection agency knows about this and calls you anyway, you should file a complaint with legal authorities about this.
You must document all relevant information when you are in debt. This will protect you in the future. Collection agencies cannot call you at your job, and they cannot send people to your home disguised as law enforcement or government officials in order to collect a debt. Agencies can’t send letters, make calls, or undertake any type of communication that implies impersonation of something they are not.
If an agency calls you, it must follow the law and identify itself within one minute of the conversation.
There are many laws on the books to protect you against unfair actions by a collection agency. There are also laws to protect the agencies from debtors, so it is important to know your rights. As a debtor, you should also try to repay what you owe and begin to repair your credit.