Lawyers Putting A Stop To Credit Collection Harassment
Have you fallen behind on your credit card or loan payments? Whether your financial difficulties are due to a divorce, job loss, injury on the job, car accident, health issue, or other life circumstance, your obligation to pay the debt does not give debt collectors free rein to harass and threaten you.
Consumers have rights and specific legal protections against aggressive, harassing, threatening actions taken by debt collectors. These rights and protections are set out in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). State laws, such as South Carolina’s Consumer Protection Code, also provide protection for consumer.
Too many debt collectors engage in illegal collection practices because they assume that consumers don’t know their own rights. At Hays Cauley, P.C., our skilled attorneys are eager to help you understand your rights and to fight back against these illegal practices.
Debt Collection: What Is Allowed And What Is Prohibited
Debt collectors can contact you in pursuit of payment. Contact can include mail and phone calls. But there are strict limits to how often they can call and at what times. They are also limited in what they can say to you in those calls.
The full details of the FDCPA and other laws are too numerous to list on this page. But here are some important limitations:
- Cannot call you between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m. (local times)
- Cannot call you at work if you have informed them that you cannot (or do not want to) receive calls there
- Cannot communicate with anyone except you or your lawyer regarding your debt
- Cannot engage in harassment, including foul language or threats of harm
- Must meaningfully and truthfully identify themselves and the company they are representing
- Cannot falsely claim to be an attorney or law enforcement official
- Cannot claim that failure to pay your debt will result in arrest or other criminal consequences
- Cannot misrepresent how much you owe
- Cannot send mail in an envelope printed with any words or symbols that make it immediately clear that the letter is related to debt collection
- Filing bankruptcy puts an automatic stay upon most creditors attempting to collect a debt
For more information on your rights in relation to debt collection calls, visit our page on stopping unwanted calls and text messages.
Note to South Carolina residents: Under the state’s Consumer Protection Code, wage garnishment is illegal. Debt collectors cannot even threaten to garnish your wages.
Let Us Help You Stop Collection Harassment
Debt collectors who engage in FDCPA violations can face fines and civil lawsuits. At Hays Cauley, P.C., we can help you hold these companies responsible for breaking the law and violating your rights. Discuss your case with one of our attorneys in a free consultation. Call our Florence office at 843-773-2782, or fill out our online contact form.