What are some illegal actions that debt collectors have been known to take?

A debt collector should never harass you or call you at work. Under no circumstances should any collection agency EVER tell your boss that you owe money or that they are trying to collect money from you. The debt collector should NEVER tell your co-workers you owe money, and are prohibited from telling your family, friends, or others that they are trying to collect money from you. The debt collector may not even disclose the name of their company if the name would tip your employer off that they are trying to collect a debt. This includes calls to others and letters they mail to your home. Postcards are not allowed, nor are letters with return addresses that indicate the sender is a collection company (e.g., “Asset Acceptance Debt Collection Agency” would not be allowed).  They also cannot call you before 8am or after 9pm.  They cannot call you multiple times a day, nor can they harass you during a call.  They cannot threaten you with jail time, nor tell you that you will lose any rights by not working with them.

If a debt collector calls you at work and you tell them to stop because your job does not permit you to take their calls at work, they should stop calling you at work immediately. If you are being harassed and called at work by a debt collector and need the collection calls to stop, you should contact our FDCPA lawyers today. If you are facing these kinds of collection calls, call one of our attorneys for a consultation today at (614) 944-5219.

We generally advise our clients NOT to provide a debt collector with their place of employment to avoid the headaches associated with work-place calls. There is no law that requires you provide your place of employment to the debt collector over the phone, and there is usually nothing constructive that comes from the disclosure. The debt collector may try to tell you that will help them determine whether you qualify for a reduced payoff in order to get you to provide your employment information. If that is the case, ask them to put that in writing and mail it to you. If it is a bona fide request, the debt collector should have no problem mailing out a formal request.

In Ohio, a debt collector can ONLY garnish your wages or take money directly out of your bank account without your permission if it first files a lawsuit against you and obtains a judgment against you in a court of law. If a debt collector threatens to garnish your wages without having obtained a judgment and court order, this is likely a serious violation of federal law. They cannot lie to you about ANYTHING – not even a small white lie or misstating the amount due by a penny.  You should call our law firm immediately if they do, as this is an automatic violation of the law.

Debt collection of bad debts is rampant by bad debt collectors. There is no reason why a debt collector should be trying to collect on a bad debt that has been paid, is past the statute of limitations, or that has been discharged in bankruptcy. If a debt collector is trying to get you to settle a bad debt that you don’t have to pay, contact our FDCPA lawyers for a consultation on how to stop the bad debt collector. Also, if the debt collector is collecting on a debt you already paid or settled with another debt collector, call our FDCPA lawyers to discuss how you could be entitled to stop the harassing collection calls and letters, plus obtain compensation plus attorneys’ fees.

We also defend people being sued by debt collectors. If you are being sued for an old credit card or medical debt, call us for a consultation today. Doucet & Associates can be reached at (614) 944-5219 or by scheduling using our online tool.