No one likes dealing with debt collectors. Not only are they often aggressive and rude, but some are willing to go to great lengths to collect a debt—even violate the law. Unfortunately, many debtors are ill-prepared to address the demands of unscrupulous debt collectors. Debtors who are armed with a solid knowledge of the laws governing the debt collection process, on the other hand, typically fare much better. In this article, we examine six things anyone dealing with a debt collector should know.
#1: You Have Rights
Although debt collectors are free to pursue money they are owed, they must respect the rights of debtors when doing so. A federal law called the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act establishes requirements that debtors must follow when attempting to collect debts. Debt collectors who violate the act may face legal consequences.
#2: Old Debts Expire
Each state establishes a deadline by which a debt collector may file a lawsuit to collect a debt. This deadline, commonly called the statute of limitations, is four years in California.
#3: You Can Ask a Debt Collector to Quit Calling You
A debt collector must stop calling you if you request so in writing. However, this won’t absolve you of a legitimate debt.
#4: There are Limits on When and How Often Debt Collectors May Contact You
Debt collectors can’t call you before 8 a.m., after 9 p.m., or too many times a day. In addition, debt collectors must cease calling you at work if you request that they do so.
#5: Debt Collectors Can Contact Your Friends & Family
Although debt collectors can contact your friends and family, they may only do so to locate you. They aren’t permitted to identify themselves as debt collectors, and there are limits on the number of times they may contact third parties.
#6: Debt Collectors Can Sue You
Finally, a debt collector that believes you owe a debt can file a debt collection lawsuit against you in court. And if you ignore the lawsuit, the court will enter a default judgment in favor of the debt collector, meaning that you will have to pay the debt in question. Therefore, if you have been contacted by a debt collector, or you have been served with a debt collection lawsuit, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible for assistance.
Contact a California Debt Collection Lawsuit Defense Attorney
If you have been contacted by a debt collector, there is a chance that a debt collection lawsuit may soon follow. Therefore, to ensure that your rights are protected, you should contact an experienced and knowledgeable California debt collection lawsuit defense attorney as soon as possible for assistance. At the Fullman Firm, our California attorneys are passionate about protecting the rights of consumers. Therefore, when you come to us for help, we will do everything in our power to ensure that your case has a successful resolution. Please contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our talented attorneys.