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The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was established as a way to protect consumers from falling victim to illegal or unfair collection practices by outside or third-party debt collectors. This year, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received over 80,000 complaints regarding debt collectors. Depending on how debt collectors are going about their collection efforts, they may be breaking the law.

Common scenario creditors may run into is being contacted about a debt that does not belong to them. If such a situation occurs, you have thirty days from the time the notice is received to send a response in writing indicating you would like the debt verified. If you are certain the debt is not yours, you can also request in writing that the debt collector cease contact.

While less common, there is a possibility a debt collector may threaten to take you to court, have your wages garnished, or damage your credit. Unless they have the legal authority, they cannot do any of these. Even if they are legal, a debt collector must win the lawsuit before any actions such as wage garnishment can proceed.

A debt collector can contact your family or your employer, but only for the purposes of attempting to locate you. Should they do so, they cannot reveal any information regarding the debt. There are also laws in place regarding how often debt collectors can make these calls.

This update is by Abril Law, a law firm comprised of attorneys Jorge M. Abril and Sinead Baldwin. Our services include medical reimbursement, commercial litigation, and more. If you have any questions or wish to schedule an appointment, please call 305-373-0901 to speak with one of our attorneys. We look forward to working with you.

This information is provided for educational or informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice.