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How the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act protects you

You would be remiss for thinking that the world of trying to collecting debt and calling people to inquire about their debt was like the Wild West. It's an understandable thought, given the horror stories that have come out about debt collectors going to absurd -- and illegal -- lengths to collect money from a debtor.

But all of this hides one important fact: that there is a set of laws that debt collectors must follow when they engage in debt collection practices, and that you, as a debtor, have rights when they try to collect.

For example, it is illegal for debt collectors to call you at odd hours of the night, or to contact your employer to get in touch with you, or to contact you at all if they are aware that you have an attorney. If you consent to being contacted by the debt collector, however, then these caveats are out the window.

Debt collectors are also forbidden from contacting your family, your friends or other entities in an effort to collect a debt from you. Again, this right is waived if you consent to the debt collector performing these actions.

In addition to all of this, debt collectors have to cease communication with you if you inform them of this request in the proper way. This id one by sending them written notification of your desire for them to stop contacting you. There are still minor ways they can contact you after this -- such as to inform you that they are ceasing collection efforts or to inform you of potential legal remedies -- but collection efforts must cease.

Source: FindLaw, "The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act," Accessed Oct. 26, 2016

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