Long Islanders who are facing financial challenges and might be dealing with delinquent payments on their credit cards will have a lot to consider as they seek out options. While they are in the process of straightening out their finances, a frequent concern is that there will be a series of phone calls, letters and emails trying to collect on the debt. After a certain period, many companies will sell the debt to a third party. That third party will then try to collect the debt. There are certain laws that these collectors must follow. Unfortunately, some flout these laws or push them to the brink and end up committing creditor harassment. Understanding what disclosures these collectors are required to provide is essential for the debtor to avoid being harassed.
After the initial communication with the consumer, within the next five days, a debt collector must inform the consumer the that the debt collector is adhering to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and are not allowed to behave abusively, deceptively or engage in certain behaviors. The collector cannot: threaten the debtor with violence; use obscenities or profanity; or continually make phone calls with the intention of annoying, abusing or harassing.
Debtors must also be aware that if there is a federal judgment against the debtor, the following income might be protected: Social Security; Supplemental Security Income; welfare; spousal support; unemployment; disability; pensions; veterans’ benefits; federal student loans; and 90 percent of the wages or salary that was earned in the previous 60 days.
Within five days after the first communication, the consumer must receive the following: the name of the original creditor; and an itemized accounting of the debt. The itemized accounting must include the total amount when the charge-off was done; the total amount of interest since the charge-off; the total amount of non-interest or fees since the charge-off; and the total amount of payments that were made since the charge-off.
Debtors are often caught up in their own worries to realize that there are illegal behaviors being committed by the debt collector. Being protected from these acts is vital to getting the finances back in order. Discussing the matter with a legal professional experienced in debt solutions can help in these circumstances and much more.
Source: dfs.ny.gov, “Debt Collection By Third-Party Debt Collectors And Debt Buyers — 1.2 Required initial disclosures by debt collectors.,” accessed on July 3, 2017