Debt Settlement and Your Consumer Rights

Credit cards and other consumer debt increases exponentially, in the event of economic downturns. Living paycheck to paycheck, while adding mounting debt, can lead to harassing phone calls from debt collectors – making your financial future seem much more bleak. Consumers do have rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which was enacted to protect debtors from the bad behavior and harassment by debt collectors – learn more at this

Debt settlement programs can be helpful to many consumers who feel that they are in over their heads, financially. These programs typically work well for the consumer, because they have the advantage of a third party negotiating on their behalf. This eliminates much of the emotional and psychological stress that can become part of the debt settlement process. Contact a debt settlement attorney to ensure that you fully understand your consumer rights.

A debt collector cannot ask for payment exceeding the amount that you owed. This includes misrepresenting the amount verbally or in writing. Collectors additionally cannot add extra fees that exceed the original amount of the debt.

Debt collectors are strictly prohibited from using abusive (or obscene language) while speaking with a debtor. Some collectors will try and use this as a bully tactic, but it has been deemed abusive by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and is (therefore) considers this harassment tactic illegal.

Guidelines prohibit when (and where) a debt collector is allowed to contact the debtor. They cannot call before 8:00 am, nor can they call after 9:00 pm – they cannot call you on Sundays, either. Calls to your place of work, after indicating to the debt collector, that these calls were inappropriate – are also forbidden, as they are deemed to be harassment.

Threats of physical violence, jail time or disclosing your debt to third parties, is all expressly prohibited by your consumer rights. No matter how much you owe, a debt collector is never permitted to use scare tactics, such as these, to attempt to collect payment.

Ask for validation of the debt in writing. The debt collection agency is required to send you a written verification of a debt. This communication should include the amount of the debt, the name of the original creditor and a statement indicating how long the debtor has to dispute the debt.

Finally, the debt collector must cease contacting you, if you forward them a notice indicating to cease & desist attempts at contact. The collecting party is only allowed one more contact (in writing) after they received your request to cease contacting you. The written communication should indicate that further attempts to collect the debt, will cease – or that the collection agency is going to pursue legal remedies reserved for them. can give you a complete layout of your consumer rights, when harassed by debt collectors.

Often, some of the stress from dealing with debt can be reduced or eliminated by simply getting help with the situation. Understand your rights, and seek help from experienced professionals to ensure that those rights are respected. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a statute included in the Consumer Credit Protection Act, which aims to do the following: To eliminate abusive and unfair practices in the collection of debts from the consumers; promotion of fair practices of collection; providing guidelines to debt collecting agencies on conducting businesses; to provide consumers with an avenue for disputes; determining the consumer rights, when dealing with debt collectors; prescribing remedies and penalties in cases consumer rights violations.

How To Enforce Your Consumers

Getting out of debt has just got easier with the enforcement of the new law, by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). According to the new amendment, FTC has banned debt settlement companies from collecting upfront fees. This would be good news for people who are staying in Pennsylvania, as it has been speculated that this county receives a record number of cases regarding unfair debt collections. Pennsylvania however, is the official location of many good consumer law firms. In a case when you are doubtful about the actions of an agency, you should contact a good law firm to determine if you have a case; you can also take a look at , to see if you can tackle the matter on your own.

In case you are borrowing money from any enterprise in Pennsylvania, you should preserve all the documents of the procedure (and the payment) for future reference. If possible, keep a record of the communication between you and the collection agency. This would be helpful as references, if you get involved in any legal complexities later on. Before filing any case regarding unfair debt collections, Pennsylvania County’s law requires you to send a cease letter addressing the debt collectors to stop further communications with you. If the harassment continues, hire a lawyer to fight on your behalf. An attorney for unfair debt collections in Pennsylvania works in close collaboration with the consumer, to stop irritating calls from collection agencies, and restore peace to the consumer.