Generally, some of the more important provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act are:
- No contact with the consumer that is inconvenient, especially calls before 8am or after 9pm.
- Repeat calls are prohibited if the intent is to harass the consumer.
- If the consumer is known to be represented by an attorney, the debt collector may only contact the attorney. If the attorney does not respond within a reasonable period of time, the consumer may be contacted again.
- Debt information may not be shared with third parties, like family and friends, but they can contact them to verify information.
- Postcards may not be used to notify consumers of debt collection.
- Debt collectors may not make false representations, such as the police will come to get you (debts are not a criminal act), or threaten consumers if debts are not paid, or say they are attorneys when they are not.
Debts are real and should be acknowledged and paid if possible. Avoiding debt collectors is not entirely possible, but consumers have protection agains harassment and abuse. If you believe your rights have been violated by a debt collector, contact the Federal Trade Commission at 877-FTC-HELP.