Dealing with debt collectors can be quite stressful, especially when they aren’t the nicest or most professional people. All debt collectors are required to adhere to the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) and behave according to the act’s professional practices.
Most companies adhere to this act, but some tend to straddle the fence. One company that’s notorious for its behavior is Transworld Systems. Many complaints about Transworld Systems were about them giving personal information to third parties, harassing consumers over the phone, and ignoring consumer validation requests.
The complaints had gotten so frequent that Transworld Systems had gotten in trouble with the FDA, and had to pay a $3.2 million fine. As a borrower, you should be aware of how these companies should be treating you and what is considered predatory practices.
Harassment They can’t send mail that makes it glaringly obvious that they’re trying to collect a debt or reveal any other embarrassing info. Consumers can’t be subjected to vulgar, derogatory, or offensive language. Debt collectors also can’t call repeatedly or continuously. Threats Debt collectors can never threaten a consumer with violence.
They also can’t threaten them with an action that they aren’t authorized to make. They also can’t misrepresent themselves as law enforcement, law agency, or a legal firm. Reasonable Correspondence Collectors can’t call consumers outside of considerable waking hours (before 8 A.M. or after 9 P.M.) Consumers also can’t be contacted at work after they’ve requested to not be. Ignoring Requests You have the right to request debt validation.
After you’ve requested it, the debt collector is required to send you that request in writing. This request has all the details of the debt that the collection agency is pursuing you for. If there’s any inaccurate information, you have the right to dispute it.
If it gets removed it helps improve your credit score. Misrepresentation Collectors cannot agree to do one thing and then do the other. But, you have to get their statement in writing so others know that the agreement was made. Handling Debt Collectors Like Transworld Systems Even though there are concrete rules set by the FDCPA, companies can still violate those rules.
But, if you do the following things, you’ll be able to protect yourself and your rights. Put it All in Writing Ensure that all your correspondence with your debt collector is in writing. This record will back up your claims down the road. Credit Report Disputes Be sure to make a request for validation with any debt collector you may come across.
Also, if you see inaccuracies in your credit report, be sure to report it to all three credit reporting bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. If not, you will be dealing with trying to get credit repair in the future. Some debt takes a bit of time to fall off your credit report. Bankruptcies last seven to ten years and foreclosures last seven years. Debt collectors might use that fact against you and try to contact you in order to keep your account alive.
The statute of limitations begins with the last contact of the consumer, so debt collectors try to prolong that. Be aware of the timeline of your debt, but also don’t ignore debt that can be used against you.
Be sure to understand your rights before you talk with any debt collector. The FDCPA is here to protect you as a consumer and being aware of it will push debt collectors to be accountable for their actions.
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