Debt collection agencies have the right to contact a debtor about their past due bills, but they do not have the right to harass debtors under the guidelines of the federal Fair Debt Collection Act (FDCPA). That means that anyone who is facing harassment from a collection agency has the right to force them to stop. There are several means to do that, but they must be sure they have grounds to pursue such claims. Many frivolous suits have been filed in recent years, and some have resulted in additional costs to the debtor.
Debtors have the right not to face harassment every day from aggressive collection agencies. The FDCPA spells out a number of specific prohibitions against harassing behavior from collection agencies. However, it is important to note that those regulations apply only to third party collection agencies, not first party creditors. Such collection agencies are only paid on a contingency basis generally, which means that if they do not collect payment from the debtor, they are not paid themselves. It is no wonder that they are aggressive, but that does not allow them to be abusive. The FDCPA gives the debtor certain rights when dealing with collection agencies:
If a collection agency abuses those rights or continues harassing behavior after they have been asked to stop, the debtor has additional rights:
It may appear that there is not much chance to win a case against a collection agency, but that is far from the truth. In fact, experienced consumer rights attorneys may be able to frame a complaint forcefully enough to stop harassment before taking any more formal steps. However, if those formal steps such as a complaint to the FTC or a lawsuit are required, an attorney can determine if they are justified and how to put together a winning case.