Debt Collection: Consumer's Rights

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Southern Credit Adjusters Help Center

What Are My Rights As a Consumer?

As a consumer you have legal rights and a reputable debt collection agency will honor those rights. Southern Credit Adjusters will always be respectful, courteous, and will work with you to resolve your outstanding debt.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)

In 1978, the US Government enacted the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). It protects consumers by prohibiting abusive or deceptive debt collection practices by third-party debt collectors. It applies to consumer debts—that is, debts incurred primarily for personal, family, or household purposes.

Contacts from the Collector

A debt collector cannot contact you before 8am or after 9pm without your permission. Also, if you tell them you cannot receive calls at work, they cannot contact you there.

You may want to consider talking with the collector at least once. That way, you can get more information about the debt and confirm whether it's really yours.

As of January 2022, borrowers can choose how the debt collector communicates with them. For instance, by email, text message, etc. Also, debt collectors cannot call an individual more than seven times in seven days.

You Can Dispute Inaccurately Reported Debts

Under the FDCPA, your credit report can only list information that is accurate, timely, and verifiable. So if you spot errors on your credit report, you should send a registered letter to the credit bureau asking that the inaccurate information be removed. We explain how to do that in our Credit Repair help article.

Your Right to Privacy

If a debt collector is unable to reach you, they are allowed to contact certain people to get your information, but usually only once and only if they can't reach you another way. The collector cannot tell anyone else about your debt, except for your spouse, your attorney, and your parent or guardian if you're under 18.

Information Supplied By the Debt Collector

A debt collector is required by law to give you what's called "validation information" about the debt. They must do this either during their first contact with you or in writing within 5 days of that contact. The collector has to provide the following information:
  • the amount of the debt
  • the creditor's name
  • how you can get the original creditor's name
  • how you can dispute the debt

In Conclusion

Consumers should be fully aware of their rights regarding debt. We hope this brief article was helpful, but it really only scratched the surface and it is not legal advice. There are numerous laws in place that we didn't cover. To learn more about your rights, please visit the following websites:
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