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What practices are off limits for debt collectors?

The following practices are off limit to debt collectors. Debt collectors may not harass, oppress, or abuse you or any third parties they contact. For example, they may not:

  • use threats of violence or harm,
  • publish a list of names of people who refuse to pay their debts (but they can give this information to the credit reporting companies),
  • use obscene or profane language, or
  • repeatedly use the phone to annoy someone.

Debt collectors may not lie (make a false claim) when they are trying to collect a debt. For example, they may not:

  • falsely claim that they are attorneys or government representatives;
  • falsely claim that you have committed a crime;
  • falsely represent that they operate or work for a credit reporting company;
  • misrepresent the amount you owe;
  • indicate that papers they send you are legal forms if they aren’t; or
  • indicate that papers they send to you aren’t legal forms if they are.

Debt collectors also are prohibited from saying that:

  • you will be arrested if you don’t pay your debt;
  • they’ll seize, garnish, attach, or sell your property or wages unless they are permitted by law to take the action and intend to do so; or
  • legal action will be taken against you, if doing so would be illegal or if they don’t intend to take the action.

Debt collectors may not engage in unfair practices when they try to collect a debt. For example, they may not:

  • give false credit information about you to anyone, including a credit reporting company;
  • send you anything that looks like an official document from a court or government agency if it isn’t; or use a false company name.
  • try to collect any interest, fee, or other charge on top of the amount you owe unless the contract that created your debt – or your state law – allows the charge;
  • deposit a post-dated check early;
  • take or threaten to take your property unless it can be done legally; or
  • contact you by postcard.

The 101 Questions You Should Ask to Get Out of Debt:

  1. What is the primary cause of personal debt?
  2. How do I determine if I have a serious debt problem?
  3. How do you start understanding your debt?
  4. What is a secured debt?
  5. What is unsecured debt?
  6. What is government debt?
  7. Is there such thing good debt?
  8. What happen if you fail to pay your secured debt?
  9. What happen if you fail to pay your unsecured debt?
  10. What happen if you fail to pay your government debt?
  11. Are there immediate steps that I can take now to stop taking on new debt?
  12. Is it really possible to live debt free?
  13. Living debt free is myth – not everyone can live debt free?
  14. Is there a strategic way to pay off existing debt in record time?
  15. My debts are getting out of control what can do to gain control?
  16. What is wrong with how I am repaying my debt?
  17. Do I have debt problem? How can I find out?
  18. What do people who get into debt have in common?
  19. Why do a lot of people fail to get out of debt?
  20. Why paying the minimum on my debt is not a good debt management practice?
  21. What are the biggest mistakes people make while paying their debt? How can I avoid them?
  22. What can i do to get out of debt?
  23. How does having a budget help me get out of debt?
  24. Will inflation help me get out of debt?
  25. How do you avoid questionable get out debt schemes?
  26. Is my standard of living prohibiting my ability to get out of debt?
  27. What can i do to motivate myself to get out of debt?
  28. What are the most common debt traps?
  29. What is the most important thing i must do to get out of debt?
  30. Why does not my bank help get out of debt?
  31. What solutions do i have to get out of debt and stay out of debt?
  32. Where should i go and who should i trust when i feel i need professional help to get out of debt?
  33. Is doing nothing a good way to get out of debt?
  34. What is debt consolidation?
  35. Do debt consolidation loan work?
  36. Should i consider debt consolidation loan?
  37. Why debt consolidation loans fail for the most part?
  38. What are the advantages of debt consolidation loan?
  39. What are the disadvantages of debt consolidation loan?
  40. What is a debt settlement?
  41. How does debt settlement process work?
  42. What are the advantages of debt settlement?
  43. What are the disadvantages of debt settlement?
  44. Can I settle my own debt?
  45. How debt settlements are paid?
  46. Will debt settlement ruin my credit score?
  47. What are the fees associated with a debt settlement program?
  48. What is bankruptcy?
  49. How does debt bankruptcy work?
  50. What are the advantages of Bankruptcy?
  51. What are the disadvantages of Bankruptcy?
  52. Is bankruptcy a good alternative way to get out of debt?
  53. Will bankruptcy ruin my credit score?
  54. Can my credit be repaired after I am discharged from bankruptcy?
  55. What are the costs associated with a bankruptcy?
  56. What is consumer proposal?
  57. How does a consumer proposal work?
  58. What are the advantages of a consumer proposal?
  59. What are the disadvantages of a consumer proposal?
  60. Is consumer proposal a good alternative way to get out of debt?
  61. What life is like while you are in a consumer proposal?
  62. Will consumer proposal ruin my credit score?
  63. Can my credit be repaired after I complete my consumer proposal?
  64. What are the costs associated with consumer proposal?
  65. What is debt a management company?
  66. What is a debt management plan?
  67. Who is eligible for a Debt Management Program?
  68. What are the advantages of debt management program?
  69. What are the disadvantages of debt management program?
  70. Will debt management program ruin your credit?
  71. Can my credit be repaired after I am done with debt management program?
  72. Is debt management a good alternative way to get out of debt?
  73. What life is like on a Debt Management Program?
  74. What are the costs associated with debt management plan?
  75. What is the difference between debt consolidation loan and debt management plan?
  76. What is the difference between debt management and debt settlement?
  77. What is the difference between bankruptcy and proposal?
  78. Why would a bankrupt person file for a proposal as opposed to bankruptcy?
  79. What is debt elimination?
  80. What is a debt elimination plan?
  81. What are the advantages of debt elimination plan?
  82. What are the disadvantages of debt elimination plan?
  83. What is the difference between debt elimination and debt consolidation?
  84. Someone used my credit, I have an outstanding debt. I think I am a victim of identity fraud?
  85. Who are debt collection agencies?
  86. How to deal with debt collectors?
  87. Can a debt collector contact me anytime or any place?
  88. How can I stop a debt collector from contacting me?
  89. Can a debt collector contact anyone else about my debt?
  90. What does the debt collector have to tell me about the debt?
  91. Can debt collectors keep contacting me if I don’t think I owe any money?
  92. What practices are off limits for debt collectors?
  93. Can a debt collector garnish my bank account or my wages?
  94. What should I do if debt collectors sue you?
  95. What practices are off limits for debt collectors?
  96. Can a debt collectors contact me any time or any place?
  97. How is it different from debt consolidation or debt management?

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November 14 2007 I just wanted to say thank you for all the help that you provided my husband and I for our refinancing when we were having problems getting information from our bank for the same. Your knowledge and understanding of finances helped us to make the right decisions regarding our financial situation and living is now bearable and we can see light at the end of the tunnel after only a few short months, which is certainly not what the bank was helping us to do. We appreciate all th…
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