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Understanding Your Rights Under the Fair Debt and Collection Practices Act

Whether or not you are considering bankruptcy, it is important for you to know your rights when it comes to debt collectors. The Federal Trade Commission enforces the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which protects you from harassment by debt collectors. Here is some information that can help you better understand the rights you and your attorney are entitled to in Chicago:


1. Types of Debts Covered

The Fair Debt and Collection Practices Act covers personal, family, and household debts. Examples include personal credit card accounts, car loans, medical bills, and mortgages. However, this law does not cover any business-related debt.


2. Times a Debt Collector Can Contact You

Debtors can contact you only between the hours of 8am and 9pm unless you agree to different conditions. They cannot contact you at work if you are not permitted to receive calls.


3. Stopping a Debt Collector from Contacting You

You can stop a debt collector from contacting you by writing a letter to the debt-collecting agency asking them to cease contact. The agency will tell you if your debt collector plans on taking specific legal action, such as suing you to collect the debt. Make sure to have proof that you contacted the agency in writing, such as a certified mail receipt and an extra copy of the letter you sent.

If you do not owe money a debt collector is claiming you do, then make sure to write the agency within 30 days of the notice. The collector can only contact you again if they send written proof of your debt.


Prohibited Debt Collection Methods

The law protects you from undue harassment by debt collectors. This includes threats such as that of violence, arrest, or seizure of property or wages. Also forbidden are harassment techniques such as repeated phone calls, obscene language, and public listing of debtors. Furthermore, if a debt collecting agency falsely represents information such as its identity, the amount you owe, or credit information, then notify the FTC.

For more information regarding your rights when it comes to personal debt, contact the bankruptcy attorneys at Cutler & Associates, Ltd.

Our Chicago-area bankruptcy lawyers can give you expert advice on debt collection as well as Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Call us today for a free bankruptcy evaluation! (847) 849-1834 

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