What Debt Collectors Cannot Do
There are some things that a debt collector cannot do if you owe them money. Postdated checks and threatening calls are examples of illegal debt collection practices. If you’ve owed money and can’t pay it, read this article for tips and information on your rights. This article also addresses how to avoid debt collectors using unconscionable tactics. Also, read on to learn about the right way to respond to such tactics.
Postdated checks aren’t allowed
Consumers have rights to get their money back if debt collectors don’t cash a postdated check before the agreed upon date. The FDCPA is clear on when a debt collector can cash a check. Often, debt collectors will try to coerce a consumer into writing a postdated check, promising not to deposit it in their account until they receive the funds in full.
Using postdated checks is an old trick to get your money back. Postdated checks are good for six months, but business and payroll checks are good for 180 days. Some companies preprint their checks with the word “void after 90 days,” but most banks honor them for 180 days. Using preprinted language encourages depositing a check early, but the FDCPA only applies to personal debt. It doesn’t apply to debts owed by a business.
Banks are supposed to cash only “properly payable” checks. A properly payable check is anything that has the proper signature. Postdated checks are not good for your credit. Putting in a notice that you’re writing a postdated check means you’re being extra cautious. If your bank refuses to cash a postdated check, they may charge you for the extra caution.
Unfair or unconscionable means of collecting a debt
A court may decide that a debt collection practice is unconscionable when the collector uses unfair or unconscionable methods. Unfair practices may include contacting a debtor with harassing or abusive language, attempting to collect more than the debt is actually worth, depositing a post-dated check prematurely, threatening to seize their property, or applying a payment to the wrong debt.
A collector must follow all applicable laws when using unfair or unconscionable means of collection to obtain payment. Under the Maryland Commercial Law Code (SS14-201 et seq.), a debt collector may not use threats, coercion, or abusive methods of communication with debtors. These actions may result in civil lawsuits. If you receive a collection letter that violates the law, stop using it and contact the company’s legal counsel.
As a consumer, you need to understand that debt collectors cannot threaten you, abuse you, or lie to you. It’s against the law to threaten someone and talk about your debt to others. Debt collectors cannot use abusive language, such as threatening to sue you, or calling you names or threatening to call you at work. However, debt collectors can use threats to collect more money from you.
There are many things a debt collector cannot do. First, they cannot contact other people, such as your attorney or employer. Second, they can’t threaten you with a lawsuit without legal standing. And third, they cannot harass you by using obscene language or repeatedly calling you. Finally, they cannot misrepresent themselves as a credit reporting agency. Moreover, debt collectors cannot threaten you with the possibility of being arrested for not paying.
One way to protect yourself against legal action is to document everything that a debt collector does to you. If a collector threatens to sue you, they can’t use this tactic unless they can provide proof that you owe them money. They can’t threaten to report your debt to credit bureaus unless they can prove it is true and you can’t pay. Further, they cannot tell anyone else about your debt.
Calling family members
Fortunately, there are ways to prevent debt collectors from calling your family. One of the most effective is to pay off your debt in full. However, this method only works if your debt is real and not putting you in financial hardship. If you’re unable to pay in full, contact your debt collector and ask for a payment plan. You can also dispute the debt if you feel that it is not legitimate. However, it is important to know that the debt collector needs to know your mobile phone number and address in order to contact you.
Another way to avoid getting harassed by debt collectors is to contact your family. While this method is legal, debt collectors cannot use intimidation and fear of embarrassment to convince you to pay. Your family may not agree with your debt, but they are not allowed to contact your family members. That’s why you should talk to a consumer rights attorney as soon as you get a debt collection call.
Calling your family can be incredibly irritating for you, but it’s important to remember that you’re not allowed by law to speak to debt collectors’ family. If you have tried to pay off your debt through a collection agency, however, it’s likely they have accidentally called family members. A cease and desist letter will prevent them from contacting your family members if you pay off your debt.
Using digital communications
While the use of paper-based communication methods is a common misconception in the industry, many companies are able to improve response rates and DSO by using digital communication tools alongside traditional mailing. Instead of relying solely on paper, agencies can email customers first and send them a paper communication later. By using digital communications, collection agencies can make customers feel respected and that they are taking their matter seriously. Adding a digital stream to your mailing strategy will improve your targeting and reduce costs.
Another consideration for debt collectors when using digital communication tools is how to best accommodate the preferences of consumers. Traditionally, debt collectors relied on traditional methods like phone calls and letters, but modern communications have made it possible to reach consumers in more effective ways. While emails remain the top choice, text messaging is also a viable option for collecting debts. Some companies have also begun to reach out to consumers through social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter.
Delegates at the recent Conference on Debt Collection reaffirmed the huge potential of digital communication in the collection industry. In addition to increasing collection performance, using digital channels is increasingly attractive to younger debtors, who view them as less intrusive and convenient. Recent research figures confirm this trend. Furthermore, email and SMS are the key applications for tracing debtors and initial contact. The same applies for ongoing customer management.
Using unusual or inconvenient times
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) places restrictions on when and where debt collectors can call consumers. In general, they cannot call you outside of those hours and are in violation of the law. Although the new rule has some ambiguity, it does not change these prohibitions. In this article, we’ll examine the new FDCPA rule and how it affects debt collectors.
Among the main things that make debt collectors’ use of inconvenient times and places illegal is that they cannot rely on prior written consent from consumers. This means that if a debt collector contacts you at an inconvenient time and place, they can only communicate with you if you explicitly consent. But if you gave your permission, they can still ask you to meet at a time and place that’s convenient for you.