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Industry Association Warns Collectors of Calling During the Holidays

Created: On December 3, 2008 @ 12:30 am In

Consumers going through the debt settlement process will be forced to deal with collection calls at some point. Collection calls, while stressful for most people, are actually an important part of the process. It is vital that you remain in contact with those creditors you wish to negotiate a settlement with.

Unfortunately, some consumers fall victim to overly aggressive and persistent collectors. If you have several different creditors or collection agencies calling at the same time, it can be quite nerve-racking.

Good News!

TheĀ  (ACA International) recently released a statement to their members with regards to collection efforts during the holiday season.

The actions of third party collection agencies are restricted by the [1] Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).

ACA International provided this legal opinion in their statement:

“Although the FDCPA does not specifically bar communication on any holiday, if a debt collector knows or should know contacting a consumer on any holiday would inconvenience the consumer, such action likely would be a violation of Section 805(a) of the FDCPA”

Collection Agencies that violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act face a penalty of up to $1,000 in statutory damages in addition to the plantiff’s attorney’s fees.

Keeping in mind that this is simply a legal opinion provided by an industry association, you may notice a decline in collection calls throughout the month of December.

Here is a list of the more common holidays in December:

  • December 22 - 29 | Hanukkah
  • December 25 | Christmas
  • December 26 | Kwanzaa
  • December 29 | Muharram

If you do find yourself being harrassed by a collection agency, it is important that you understand your rights. Some debt collectors, with little regard for the law, will attempt to strong-arm you into making a payment. Although explicitly prohibited by the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, they may threaten to:

  • Attach your wages when unlawful or not intended
  • Contact your employer about the debt
  • Contact the Department of Homeland Security about your alien status
  • File or threaten to file criminal bad check charges on a post dated check that the collector solicited from you
  • Report a financed vehicle as “stolen” because you missed one or more vehicle payments

This represented just a small sample of some of the tactics used by unethical debt collectors. If you feel your rights have been violated or need clarification on something a collection agent said, you should contact an Attorney. The [2] National Association of Consumer Advocates maintains a list of Attorneys that specialize in these matters.

About the Author:

Chris Rocks is the Regional Director of the [3] National Credit Federation (NCF), a consumer advocacy group that assists small business owners and consumers overcome debt and credit challenges. He can be contacted by visiting his personal site, [4] GoodCreditLiving.com.

Article printed from DebtHelp.com Blog: http://www.debthelp.com/blog

URL to article: http://www.debthelp.com/blog/2008/12/03/industry-association-warns-collectors-of-calling-during-the-holidays/

URLs in this post:
[1] Fair Debt Collection Practices Act: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&ct=res&cd=1&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ftc.gov%2

[2] National Association of Consumer Advocates: http://www.naca.net/
[3] National Credit Federation: http://www.nationalcreditlawyers.com
[4] GoodCreditLiving.com: http://www.goodcreditliving.com