What Debt Collectors Can’t Do

The financial stress that employees suffer in the workplace is rooted in many different places. At times, it comes from debt that is out of control. For that reason, I suggest you post this list in a public place, maybe your company kitchen, so that employees can access it privately in their own time.

This list, provided by our financial partner BALANCE, identifies specific guidelines for what collections agencies can’t do to collect money. Collections agencies can’t:

  • Use obscene language
  • Threaten you with harm
  • Try to deceive you about their identity, or why they are calling
  • Publish information about your debt, other than reporting it to credit reporting companies
  • Take or threaten to you take your property except as a part of the legal process, during which you have the right to defend yourself
  • Tell you that you will be arrested if you don’t pay your debt
  • Falsely claim to be an attorney or a representative of the government
  • Incorrectly claim that you have committed a crime, or state that you will arrested if you don’t pay the debt
  • Lie about how much money you owe
  • Send you postal correspondence that externally reveals the collections activity
  • Tell you documents sent to you are legal forms when they are not, or lie about the nature of legal forms sent to you
  • Claim that they will seize or garnish your wages or property, or take legal action against you, unless they are allowed to by law AND plan to do so
  • Give false financial information about you to anyone
  • Claim to be an attorney if they are not
  • Incorrectly state that they can seize your Social Security benefits, pension, retirement, child support, alimony or other protected benefits
  • Make you pay for collect calls

Always remember that you have rights. If you believe a collections agency is acting improperly or illegally, contact the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov.

To take advantage of confidential financial guidance and counseling, contact Hanscom Federal Credit Union’s financial partner BALANCE.

Check out  BALANCE today!

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About Author

Maria Porto
Maria Porto

Maria Porto is Hanscom FCU's assistant vice president of partner relations. She may be reached at mporto@hfcu.org.

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