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Consumer Rights Against Collection Agencies

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.

5)      If it goes further than that, report it to the  state Attorney General's office (www.naag.org) and the Federal Trade Commission (www.ftc.gov).

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.

By: Debt Free Destiny

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One Response to “Consumer Rights Against Collection Agencies”

  1. clair ode
    November 12, 2012 at 1:57 am #

    Faulty assumption believing that collection agencies are actually staffed by human beings. The people calling you have no souls. So expect to get in touch with somebody there who will actually care that they are in the wrong.

    I would back with the business office at the hospital. They are the ones who sold your bill to the collection agency. Believe me, they have the power to stop the evil collectors. Mixups like you describe happen all the time at hospitals and physician offices, and a pretty fluid line between "active" medical accounts and accounts "in collections".

    since the hospital was paid by the insurance company for your account, they are responsible to either (1) call off the collection dogs or (2) give the money they got to the collection agency, since they sold the debt to the collection agency.

    If you get no recourse from the hospital, send the collection agency a letter informing them that the bill has been paid and that "according to the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act", they must immediately cease and decist trying to collect. Include a copy of the check in that letter. Send it mail, with return-receipt requested. If they continue [...]

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