Debt Collection Law

What is the law on debt collection? The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) has been around for almost 35 years. The FDCPA is a federal law that applies to every state. In other words, everyone is protected by the FDCPA. Its purposes are to eliminate abusive practices in the collection of consumer debts, to promote fair debt collection, and to provide consumers with an avenue for disputing and obtaining validation of debt information in order to ensure the information’s accuracy. The FDCPA creates guidelines under which debt collectors may conduct business, defines rights of consumers involved with debt collectors, and prescribes penalties and remedies for violations of the FDCPA. The FDCPA is essentially a laundry list of what debt collectors can and cannot do while collecting a debt, as well as things debt collectors must do while collecting a debt.

What Practices Are Off Limits For Debt Collectors?

False statements: Debt collectors may not lie when they are trying to collect a debt. For example, debt collectors may not:

  1. Falsely claim that they are attorneys or government representatives,
  2. Falsely claim that you have committed a crime,
  3. Falsely represent that they work for a credit reporting company,
  4. Misrepresent the amount of money you owe,
  5. Indicate that papers they send you are legal forms if they are not, or
  6. Indicate that papers they send to you are not legal forms if they are.

Debt collectors also are prohibited from saying that:

  1. You will be arrested if you do not pay your debt as stated in Debt Collection Law,
  2. They will seize, garnish, attach, or sell your property or wages, unless they are permitted by law to take the action and intend to do so, or
  3. Legal action will be taken against you, if doing so would be illegal, or if they do not intend to take the action.

Debt collectors may not:

  1. Give false credit information about you to anyone, including a credit reporting company,
  2. Send you anything that looks like an official document which also contains debt collection law from a court or government agency if it is not, or
  3. Use a false company name.

Unfair practices: According to the Debt Collection Law, debt collectors may not engage in unfair practices when they try to collect a debt. For example, debt collectors may not:

  1. Try to collect any interest, fee, or other charge on top of the amount you owe unless the contract that created your debt–or your state law–allows the charge,
  2. Deposit a post-dated check early, or
  3. Take or threaten to take your property unless it can be done legally.

Debt Collection Law Protects You

If you have been the victim of debt collection harassment, whether they called you excessively, threatened you, called you at work despite knowing you cannot receive these type of calls at work, disclosed your debt to a third party, tried to collect a debt from you that you did not owe, or left you a voicemail message without the proper disclosures, contact Agruss Law Firm, LLC, for a free case evaluation

Based on the Debt Collection Law, debt collector who fails to comply with any provision of the FDCPA is responsible for any actual damages sustained, punitive damages, and statutory damages up to $1,000.00. Plus, the FDCPA has a fee-shift provision. This means, the collection agency pays your attorney’s fees and costs. Founding attorney, Michael Agruss, has settled over 1,500 debt collection harassment cases. Now, Agruss Law Firm, LLC, wants to help you, too.

Comments - Debt Collection Law

  1. Melanie

    I get multiple phone calls per week, saying that I need to respond today, or that they are on there way to my house or place of employment, and that I will be arrested, unless I take care of my debt!

  2. Mary

    Hi, My name is Mary…I am having problems with SallieMae/Navient repayment I have been trying to get the private loans I have with them consolidated, but with no help. They told me I was placed on a payment plan, but would have to renew every year. They also told me that the payments would be going towards the principle,but I found out yesterday they have not been. One loan was not placed on the program and they failed to let me know, but continued to draft payment out of my account and report the loan late every month on my credit!

  3. Kyle

    I have received several calls from diversified consultants after telling them I have taken care of it. They just called again today and I saw you youtube video so I thought I would contact you. It was over a Comcast bill that I had already taken care of. I told them when they called the first and second time. I told them not to contact me. I have received several calls since then. I tried to call them to take me off the call list and I was on hold for a hour. I called Comcast this was due to their mistake. Not really, this was Comcast’s mistake, I took care of it. told them many many times not to talk to me. They keep calling. When I try to tell them not to contact me and I am being harassed I was placed on hold for a hour!

  4. Freddie

    I was wondering if your firm might be able to help me\r\n[11/3/2014 7:03:54 PM CST] Monica: Could you please share a few details about the situation so that we can best assist you? \r\n[11/3/2014 7:04:54 PM CST] Visitor: I am being harrased by Dominion Law Associates. They are calling my cell phone and sending me letters in the mail.\r\n[11/3/2014 7:05:20 PM CST] Monica: We may be able to help you with that. Do you mind explaining the situation in a bit more detail? \r\n[11/3/2014 7:06:39 PM CST] Visitor: They recieved a judgement against me but was denined the money because I dont have the funds to pay it and now they are trying to garnish my wages again\r\n[11/3/2014 7:07:10 PM CST] Monica: I understand. May I ask where you are located, city and state? \r\n[11/3/2014 7:07:50 PM CST] Visitor: Chilhowie Virginia\r\n[11/3/2014 7:08:04 PM CST] Monica: Thank you for briefing me on the situation. Do you mind holding for a moment? \r\n[11/3/2014 7:08:33 PM CST] Visitor: I sure can thank you\r\n[11/3/2014 7:08:45 PM CST] Monica: Thank you for holding. The lawyer best suited to assist you is unavailable to chat at the moment, but I can have someone from our legal team contact you as soon as possible. \r\n[11/3/2014 7:08:52 PM CST] Monica: What would be the best number for us to call? \r\n[11/3/2014 7:10:12 PM CST] Visitor: its 276 780 2491\r\n[11/3/2014 7:10:28 PM CST] Monica: Is there an email address you’d like to provide in case they miss you by phone? \r\n[11/3/2014 7:10:44 PM CST] Visitor: its freddiegein1701a@aol.com\r\n[11/3/2014 7:11:27 PM CST] Monica: May I know who I am speaking with? \r\n[11/3/2014 7:12:35 PM CST] Visitor: Freddie Jackson\r\n[11/3/2014 7:13:32 PM CST] Monica: Is there anything else that you think that the lawyer should know or might find helpful prior to contacting you? \r\n[11/3/2014 7:14:14 PM CST] Visitor: Not right off hand. I thank you for all of your help\r\n[11/3/2014 7:14:31 PM CST] Monica: You are welcome. I will forward this transcript immediately and request you are contacted as soon as possible. Have a good evening!

  5. Chloe

    We think we are being scammed by a debt collector saying they are going to put a Lien on our bank account. I read in a blog post that you might be doing a law suit against Cogent/Medicredit or Perlmutter. Does that sound correct as the correspondence is from them, but it looks like the document they sent is not court related. It says we declined Mediation. This is a car loan debt from 2008 apparently!

  6. Suzanne

    Hi Michael I have debt collecotrs harassing me. I have asked them to stop calling one company in particular told me they can’t. Another I have asked to write me and stop calling and they still call. I have received voicemails one robot and one saying nothing and 2 leaving just a name no reason for calling and the other saying they have documents and to call before 6 p.m. I have the recorded voicemails . I have tried working with another attorney but have not gotten very far. They never call me back, they say that the last time I called they sent out letters to debt collectors saying to stop calling. Can you help me? I am disabled and feel harassed and they won’t listen. I live out of state in Iowa can you still help?

  7. Reema

    Sarah, hello! I recently rec’d information that one of my accounts was referred to Global Credit. I have ha da very heard time dealing with them today when I callled to make attempts to pay on the account. They were very derrogatory and hard nosed so I started looking online and your attorney had information on them. Is that something you all can assist with? Have a past due account. Fell ill with cancern and now I am trying to make arrangements to pay it. Called and found out that it had been referred to them. Tried to offer making payments, they wouldn’t take it as teh amount is too less but that is all I can manage, not really.. other than what I have mentioned already. Just was trying to settle with monthly payments but they started telling me about my credit cards I can use to given tehm a 10% payment today. Told them it was not an option- they insisted I call the credit card with them. Told them repeatedly it was not an option to get checks from the CC as it does not have that option, they insisted (the manager), told them they were humiliating me and then I called the agency who has the account and they said- nothing they can do, I have to deal with Global. So much for trying to make this right!

  8. Florinda

    I would like my case reviewed by Agruss Law Firm regarding my account with Asset Acceptance. My Chase credit card debt was sold to Asset Acceptance in 2005. The balance at that time was $12,660. Every month for the past 10 years, Asset Acceptance has received a payment from me. I have paid over $8,000 to Asset Acceptance. In January 2014, Asset Acceptance informed me that my pay off amount was $5700. Yesterday, I spoke to a representative at Asset Acceptance and my pay off amount is over $15,000. I want to stop payment on this debt, have this debt considered paid in full and not have this debt hurt my current excellent credit score!

  9. Patti

    hi im Patti Taylor I have written you before about the Hanna law firm suing me and stirring up old accounts for more lawsuits til the point that I cannot have a bank account anymore. There are still moreletters coming in demanding huge sums of money I cannot possibly pay account from may years ago and I am sure they have started tthis process up I cannot get my newesr email to go through so I am writing you again. Some but more letters have been found since demanding tens of thousands of dollars!

  10. Nemo

    Hi Brianna. I seriously doubt it, but what the hell. I’m not beating around the bush…just have no clue where to begin. Could you please, in detail…somewhat anyway, explain to me what exactly it is you (Agruss) do/represent? I have everything going on. Literally. From harassment by media corporations (comcast) who more or less hold monopolies; to student loan debts that were supposedly ‘forgiven’ upon receiving ‘permanent disability’ several years ago, to identity fraud and (even spoke with lawyers who would not hesitate in suing the three credit bureaus… to losing any kind of health care after waiting over 4 years to get on disability and too sick to work…to getting disability after over four years and my credit being trashed and compromised…. forcing me to live in motels for over two years spending every dime…. to finally getting into an apartment months ago thinking, because I had finally set up some kind of physical therapy locally who took medicaid… only to find out, because of new statutes/laws…whatever you want to call them, I was no longer eligible… so I lose any hope of getting better (at least a part time contributor to society) AND lose my doctors because of it…. have/had longtime HUD personell writing on my behalf to reinstate medicaid; even many of my pharmacists and pharmacy managers…. Was taken off any kind of pain medication with new laws…bullshit…was NEVER abusive, addicted…just high tolerance… Medicare is worthless, won’t cover half the crap that gives me ANY kind of relief monthly…even for my chronic migraines and annual cluster headaches…. Was forced, before disability to use a worthless local hospital… kept complaining of serious left arm pains/weakness etc…they said nevermind…you have other things to worry about… over a year later, I get medicaid, see a neurologist…sure enough, it WAS NOT carpal tunnel but an irreversible crushed left ulnar nerve which left my left hand more or less worthless (and I am solely left handed…was an artist/writer for decades…now I can barely hold a cup…. Received an electronic wheelchair from my PCP by another doctor who ended up being with that ‘mobile doctors’ out of chicago who’d been shut down due to medicare fraud… I studied/practiced Political Sociology most of my life: have resorted to organic constitutions; state constitutions; everything…all help for the disabled… lost doctor(s) and specialists due to making just over the ($973) per month which makes me not eligible in a state that did not take the medicaid waivers this year but sure as hell found a way around it to receive federal funds….100%, then 90%…. I have creditors coming after me left and right…shit I have no clue where they came from…zombie debts…you name it… I take on average 6-8 meds per day and that is at the low end…. I’ve been in an ongoing battle with Comcast (they hold a monopoly in my area) since June of 2014 and have close to 4 GIGS of recorded phone calls, saved chats/documents/screen shots….getting screwed….so we were most likely to be sent to Iraq to assist the Navy…never thought about it until disability twenty years later when they said it didn’t matter…honorably discharged/medical during wartime…I should get some kind of help….three years with the worthless VA was no help…ended late 2013…gave up…wasn’t looking for education, house, whatever…even 1% compensation blah blah!

  11. Dave

    Okay Hi , please let me know if you can help from Il. Im in Kansas. Portfolio recovery asso. is suing me, still. -Dave. Lets see. My previous attorney has withdrawn. he wrote a continuance (i think) which was about two months ago. Next week the court has a case management hearing with me. It will be waiting on a phone call from their side. Right now I have no attorney to help. I have not been able to get anyone since then. I am looking for help or advice. One thing, I tried to settle it over the phone Tuesday with 500.00 except I could not identify with the second parties name and I said so. So now he said I must send a written statement saying I have not heard of them. He told me it takes two weeks. I have not written it yet but plan to go ahead. That being said, I still do not have a way away from the hearing Mon. So , a friend advised me to find some articles on the companies meanderings to show the judge…. thats when I found you …. I have had no luck finding any real help and its a serious matter with this companies tactics as you may know!

  12. Frela

    A collector left a message at my home. I have no outstanding debts.

  13. Steve

    I have received a letter from a Halsted Financial Services, LLC about a debt from a payday loan from at least 6-7 years ago. This is the first time I have received anything from them and haven’t been threatened with any actions for this debt. I thought I had taken care of this debt a long time ago, so receiving this letter was a little bit of a shock to me and unexpected since I am trying to clean up my credit report debt, which this is not included on any of my credit reports. The amount seems a little excessive but they are offering a 50% settlement offer, and they say I have until the 27th of this month or they will return the debt to the original creditor!

  14. Elaine

    I continue to get 3-5 phones calls almost every day from a Global Credit & Collection Court. They have contacted family and even my ex-husband and his family. I have contacted them before after threats they were going to take me to jail from my place of employment if I did not call back so they could send me the court papers. So I called they started talking and transferring me. So once I finally spoke with someone I basically said I do not have time to be on the phone so I verified my address and told them to send to me. This was 3 months ago and still have not received anything. The only thing I have received is numerous harassing phone calls. How can I get them to stop.

  15. Irene

    My mom is cancer survivor she got her teeth removed when i was 18. Her gum line was lasered off and she needed to get a set of teeth alone with a gum line she requested my support. She got a care 1 credit card for emergency. They keot threatening me to go to court and I never was contacted by lawyers or anyone i kept being harrased. Im still harrased now like if owe 10s of thousands of dollars. I need help

  16. Dan

    Received telephone call from 816-600-4581 – voicemail – rep identified herself as being with Cauley & Bergman, stated is not a sales call and not a tele-marketer, did not give mini-miranda.

  17. Mark

    I keep getting a call from a payday advance outstanding debt but ive never done one in my life. This is becoming a harassment that ive got inot verbal altercations with

  18. Whitney

    They’re threatening to serve me with papers for a loan and they say I owe now 1,087 dollars. they also called my work yesterday and told my boss.

  19. Andria

    I have had mortgage with Ocwen since around 2010, a house I purchased in Kentucky with my ex husband. he stayed in the home after the divorce and according to our agreement, he was supposed to refinance the home in his name. he was unable to, and eventually abandoned the property and stopped paying the mortgage, which I did not find out about until the house was 2 1/2 months behind. I was forced to take out a loan on my retirement in order bring the mortgage current and make the next month’s payment. Since then, I have taken cash advances out on credit cards to make the mortgage payment while the house was not being rented, and have not been delinquent on a payment since when my ex abandoned the property, all in an effort to keep my credit in good standing. my ex signed a quick claim deed on the property, which was filed with the local court, relinquishing all interest in the property, but it did not remove his name from the loan. since then, he has filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, and although the home loan is not behind on any payment or delinquent in any manner, I have been charged numerous fees every month, and am force to make payments higher than what my mortgage is every month. I requested for those fees to be waived, and my request was denied. additionally, I was supposed to receive an escrow refund check last year, and the check was made out to both me and my ex husband. I was unable to cash the check because it was made out to him as well, and requested that they send the check with just my name on it, because my ex signed a quick claim deed (which they had been sent numerous times), but they still refused to refund me the escrow check because they said his name was on the loan and the refund check had to have both of our names. I do not see anywhere on my account where the escrow amount was credited at all.
    I have not done this company any wrong, but yet they are continuing to take money from me when I am already making my mortgage payments to them. Its very difficult for me to pay two mortgages, but I have been doing it for many years now, but they refuse to give me any credit for what I have done. I am trying to refinance the loan with another company in just my name, but cannot do that until I sell the other home that is in my name.

  20. Lisa

    Harris Harris is harassing me they won’t stop calling me threats of arrests if I didn’t pay e.t.c. so id like to submit for whatever legal action your taking.

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