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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Common Fair Debt Collecting Practices Act (“FDCPA”) Violations

A debt collector may only contact you over the telephone, by mail, in person, or by fax. The debt collector cannot call you at unreasonable times or places. Typically, this means that they should not call you before 8:00 a.m. in the morning or after 9:00 p.m. at night unless you agree to let them call you at those hours. 


Debt collectors can call you and request that you pay the debt. However, they cannot harass you or abuse you. These are the types of things that they should not do:

  • Use obscene or profane language;
  • Make repeated frequent calls to annoy you;
  • Telephone you without identifying themselves;
  • Use threats of violence or harm against you;
  • Threaten to arrest you if you do not pay the debt; or
  • Threaten to take action such as lawsuits, garnishments, or taking your property unless the collector intends to do so and it is legal. (Creditors must usually take you to court and get a court "judgment" against you before they are able to garnish your wages.)
Debt collectors cannot make false statements about themselves or the debts. They cannot misrepresent:
  • they are government officials or work for the "credit bureau";
  • that you have committed a crime;
  • that the papers you received are legal summonses or legal papers;
  • the amount of your debt; or
  • that there is an attorney involved, if there is not.
Debt collectors are also prohibited from:
  • depositing a post-dated check before it is due;
  • threatening to take your property (unless it is legal to do so); and 
  • contacting you by postcard.
 They cannot misrepresent:
  • they are government officials or work for the "credit bureau";
  • that you have committed a crime;
  • that the papers you received are legal summonses or legal papers;
  • the amount of your debt; or
  • that there is an attorney involved, if there is not.
Debt collectors are also prohibited from:
  • depositing a post-dated check before it is due;
  • threatening to take your property (unless it is legal to do so); and 
  • contacting you by postcard.

If you would like more information about this topic or have general legal questions, please feel free to contact me at (973)949-3770 or via email at plamont@peterlamontesq.com We answer legal questions on a daily basis and would be happy to discuss any issues or questions that you have with you.  Offices in: New Jersey New York, Colorado & Puerto Rico.  Affiliated throughout the country.

© 2014, Law Offices of Peter J. Lamont. This Update is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal advice nor does it create an attorney/client relationship between the firm and any readers or recipients. Readers should consult counsel of their own choosing to discuss how these matters relate to their individual circumstances. This Update may be considered attorney advertising in some states. Furthermore, prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

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