Many consumers often fall victim to collection agencies and their underhanded tactics.
That is why the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the country's consumer protection agency, enforces the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which keeps an eye on debt collectors to prevent them from using abusive, unfair, or deceptive practices on innocent consumers.
It would do everybody well, to do their homework, and learn as much as they can about their rights under the FDCPA and against dirty collection tactics.
The following are just some of the more important ideas that consumers should remember about collection agencies, and also what they can do to protect themselves:
1) Upon the first phone call, expect to receive a letter within five days supporting what the call is about – it should contain the exact amount of debt owed, the name of the creditor, and what the consumer can do should they decide to have that debt validated.
2) If there is no validation letter, there is no debt.
3) If the collection call persists, write a cease and desist letter.
4) If there are other forms of harassment, like collectors just showing up at your doorstep or your workplace – call the sheriff.
6) If you think that there was a grave violation of your FDCPA rights, you can sue a collector in a state or federal court within one year of the violation.