The law states that the debt collector cannot communicate with you at any unusual time or place which includes before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m.
Things Debt Collectors Cannot Do
Other things that debt collectors cannot do include: (1) threaten violence; (2) use profanity; (3) call repeatedly; (4) threaten to have you thrown in jail for failing to pay a debt; (5) misrepresent that they are an attorney; (6) threaten to give false information to the credit reporting agencies; (7) fail to disclose that they are a debt collector; (8) threaten to repossess property when they have no legal right to do so; (9) use language on the outside of the envelope revealing that the letter is from a debt collector; (10) disclose to a third party that they are attempting to collect a debt from you; (11) contact you if you have an attorney; (12) contact you if you have filed Bankruptcy; and (13) contact you at work if you employer prohibits calls at work; (14) refuse to tell you their name and where they are calling from.
What You Should Do If You Are Being Harrassed
The FDCPA provides for a $1,000 penalty for violation of the provisions of the Act plus attorney fees. If you are being harassed by a debt collector you need to keep a log with the date and time of every phone call and everything that the collector said during the call. Ask for their name, phone number, the company they are calling from and company they are calling behalf of. Although Alabama is a one party consent state, which means that you can record a phone call if you are a party to the conversation without telling the other party, some states do not follow the same rule so I cannot advise you to record the calls. However, if a debt collector leaves an inappropriate message on your voicemail or answering machine you definitely have a right to keep that recording and use it as evidence.
What Else You Should Do
If you actually owe the debt but are unable or unwilling to pay it, you can send the debt collector a certified letter informing them that you refuse to pay the debt and request that they cease all future communication with you. They are not permitted to contact you after that. If you have a question about whether the action of a debt collector violates the FDCPA call an attorney who handles consumer law matters.
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