Debt Collectors are Threatening me! - FDCPA GUIDE - Can Debt Collectors threaten to.... ?

Jeffrey Scott Hyslip

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Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney

Contributor Level 13

Posted over 1 year ago. 24 helpful votes

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1

Under the FDCPA, Can Debt Collectors Call me and Threaten that if I don't pay I will be arrested?

No, (absent extreme circumstances like not paying child support or not showing up to requisite court hearings) you cannot be arrested for not paying your debts. As I discussed here: http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/can-a-debt-collector-under-the-fdcpa, debt collectors cannot threaten to do anything to you they are not allowed to do. As such, they cannot threaten to have you arrested (absent LIMITED exceptions)

2

Under the FDCPA, Can I go to Jail? Can Debt Collectors Threaten this?

No, (absent extreme circumstances like not paying child support or not showing up to requisite court hearings) you cannot be arrested for not paying your debts. As I discussed here: http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/can-a-debt-collector-under-the-fdcpa, debt collectors cannot threaten to do anything to you they are not allowed to do. As such, they cannot threaten to have you arrested (absent LIMITED exceptions) The same goes with jail. Since you cannot be arrested you cannot go to jail for not paying your debts (Generally). Therefore these threats are almost always a violation of the FDCPA!

3

Can a Debt Collector tell me they are going to Garnish my Wages?

No, Debt Collectors cannot call you and tell you that they will garnish your wages unless, under certain circumstances, they are an attorney or law firm. If they do, they have either practiced law without a license, or are lying to you.

4

Can Debt Collectors tell me they are going to put a lien on my real estate, car, etc?

No, Debt Collectors cannot call you and tell you that they will put a lien on your property unless, under certain circumstances, they are an attorney or law firm. Before even making this threat, however, they will have needed to sue you and make sure that they (the lawyer) would be able to put a lien on your property AND intend to put a lien on your property (assuming they are even allowed!)

5

Can a Debt Collector call my friends?

No, generally speaking, Debt Collectors cannot call your friends! For more information specific to calling third parties, please read my http://www.avvo.com Staff Pick Legal Guide, here --> http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/what-to-do-if-debt-collectors-are-calling-your-friends-and-family-members---fair-debt-collection.

6

Can a Debt Collector threaten to call my friends if I don't pay my debt?

We think you should probably know the answer to this by now :) Debt collectors are not permitted to threaten to do anything they are not permitted to doing. Therefore, since they are, generally, not permitted to contact your friends, threatening to do so would be a violation of the FDCPA. For more information specific to calling friends, please read my http://www.avvo.com Staff Pick Legal Guide, here --> http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/what-to-do-if-debt-collectors-are-calling-your-friends-and-family-members---fair-debt-collection.

7

Debt Collectors are Harassing me - How should I choose an attorney to defend my rights?

There are many consumer advocates to choose to hire. Beware of some "consumer advocates" that are simply looking to take your case and bill the heck out of it, keep their fees, and then give you a tiny amount of money. Read my guide of choosing the right FDCPA attorney, here: http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/fdcpa-attorney---how-to-choose-one

8

Do you have a brief synopsis of my rights under the FDCPA?

Basically, under the FDCPA debt collectors are allowed to contact you to collect a debt as long as they treat you fairly, are not rude, do not lie, and respect all of your requests. They cannot lie to you, threaten to do anything they don't intend to do, or make any misrepresentations while collecting debt. So, while the FDCPA understands that consumers need to pay their debts, it requires that debt collectors act respectfully while doing so.

Additional Resources

http://fdcpahelp.com

FDCPA Blog

Lifetime Debt Solutions Blog

Federal Trade Commission

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