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Debt collectors’ legal and illegal practices

On Behalf of | Apr 17, 2023 | Collections Defense

People in Illinois have debt for many reasons, including consumer purchases, medical debt and other obligations. Sometimes, the borrower could fall behind on payments, leading to collection actions. The laws guide how debt collectors may operate. Understanding the difference between legal and illegal collection practices might be in a debtor’s best interests.

Legal practices

When someone owes a legal debt to another party and does not pay, the creditor can seek to collect the funds. Often, they will utilize the services of a debt collection company. Under state law, the Illinois Collection Agency Act establishes regulations debt collectors must follow. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (FDCPA) regulates federal rules regarding debt collection practices.

For example, calling someone at home to collect a debt is legal, but calling at work could be illegal. Also, restrictions exist about when a debt collector may call. Contacting someone at late hours falls under prohibited debt collection practices.

Debtors may not realize they can tell a debtor to stop contacting them. If the debt collector continues to call, such behavior could constitute harassment. Harassment might extend to using foul language on the phone or claiming the debtor could face jail time.

Troubles with debt collectors

Persons struggling with debt and credit issues might not know the law, so they could assume that a debt collector’s practices are acceptable. Again, debt collectors have legal options, including filing a lawsuit. Once they cross a legal line, the debt collectors risk legal jeopardies.

Deceptive practices and disclosing someone’s debt to unauthorized parties are other banned practices. Persons dealing with debt collectors behaving in such ways could explore their legal options to deal with the harassment.