Creditors have a right to request payment from consumers on overdue accounts. However, some of the practices that they use can cross the line and become abusive. Creditors can only make collection calls during certain hours of the day and days of the week. Furthermore, the laws prohibit them from speaking to a consumer in a threatening or offensive fashion. Examples of such behaviors are calling repeatedly throughout the day and night, calling the debtor names, demanding post-dated checks, and threatening to cause the debtor harm. Several organizations and laws protect the rights of American consumers from creditor harassment and abuse.
The Fair Debt Collection Practice Act is an act put in place to regulate the way that creditors were treating consumers. Some of the stipulations in the act prohibit creditors from conducting such behaviors as calling a debtor after 9 p.m. or before 8 a.m. Creditors may not contact a debtor at his or her place of employment unless the debtor agrees to such communication. Additionally, creditors are prohibited from contacting third parties about a debtor’s account unless the debtor agrees to such in a contract or written statement. Furthermore, a creditor must abide by a debtor’s request to cease collection calls if the debtor does so through the appropriate cease and desist letter. Any violations of these laws can result in trouble for the creditor.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or CFPB is an organization that offers a wide variety of special services to consumers. The organization works in favor of American debtors by educating them about credit and finances. Members of this team explain things like contract obligations and fair collection practices to consumers. Their goal is to enlighten consumers so they don’t get into difficult debt situations.
Other Tasks of the CFPB
The CFPB is responsible for writing special rules and regulations that govern the practices of creditors. The organization supervises these company practices and enforces rules when creditors break them. Furthermore, the CFPB takes consumer complaints and enforces cases of discrimination and unfair treatment. A consumer can learn quite a bit from visiting the website. Not only can visitors learn about the laws protecting them, but they can also find resources for mortgage help and college financial assistance.
How to File a Complaint
Any consumer who would like to lodge a complaint against a creditor can submit it online at the CFPB’s website. The CFPB will personally forward that person's complaint to the offending company and try to get the issue resolved as quickly as possible. The organization acts as a mediator for both parties, but it is still partial to the consumer. The goal in this situation is to come to an amicable agreement that both parties can accept.