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4 things debt collectors cannot do

On Behalf of | Jul 9, 2023 | Collections Defense

There are few things that illicit more dread for Illinois residents than dealing with debt collectors. Whether you receive a phone call or a letter from a debt collection agency, the feelings of stress are often overwhelming. While debt collectors are persistent, there are some things that they cannot do.

Claim to work for the government

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) makes it illegal for debt collectors to claim that they represent a state or federal government agency. This law also prohibits them from claiming to work for a consumer reporting agency. This forbidden act was relevant in a 2014 case in which a debt collection agency threatened debtors with criminal charges.

Threaten you with criminal charges

While credit issues aren’t desirable, they’re also not inherently illegal. With that in mind, debt collection companies cannot threaten you with criminal charges. In some cases, debt collectors can pursue civil charges against you, but they cannot threaten to have you arrested.

Bring public shame

Credit issues are embarrassing, and some debt collection companies try to prey on that fact. However, the FDCPA makes it illegal for a debt collection agency to publicize the names of the people who owe them money. You’re protected by confidentiality laws that make it illegal for a debt collector to speak to anyone but you, your spouse or your legal representative.

Harass you

Finally, debt collection companies cannot harass you. They can contact you multiple times, but they cannot make multiple phone calls. They also can’t call you at work if you forbid it in writing, threaten you or call you after 9:00 pm without permission.

Dealing with debt collectors is difficult and stress-inducing. However, when you know what debt collectors cannot do, you can better protect yourself.