If you believe that you are being harassed or treated unfairly by a debt collector, there is action you can take. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was put in place to protect the consumer from unlawful collection practices. Follow these instructions to help protect yourself and others from these debt collection scams.
Find out if the collection agency is in violation of the FDCPA.
There’s a lot of confusion about what is and is not legal for collection agencies. This is why it is important to be well versed in the laws surrounding the industry. Before you move forward with reporting a debt collector, you want to make sure they are in fact breaking the law. To find out more about what these laws are and what collection agencies can do, check out these articles:
- Debt Collection Laws & the Statute of Limitations
- The Do’s and Don’ts of Debt Collection
- How to Stop Debt Collector Harassment
File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.
The Federal Trade Commission is another government agency in the federal sector that enforces debt collection laws. Again, they seek to protect the consumer, but also to promote fair competition within the financial markets by ensuring that the laws are properly upheld. Not only do they enforce such regulations, but the FTC also has a hand in making the policies that govern the consumer finance market.
File a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.
While it is not a government associated agency, the Better Business Bureau is a non-profit organization that works alongside businesses in all industries to promote ethical, trustworthy business practices. They serve as an unbiased authority on which businesses are widely respected and reach the highest standards of performance. If you are having an issue with a collection agency or debt collector, you can report the behavior to the BBB here.
File a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
If you’ve done your research and have found the collection agency to be in violation of the FDCPA, the next step to take is to file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The CFPB is an independent government agency responsible for enforcing the laws and regulations that regulate the consumer finance industry. As their name suggests, they seek to protect the consumer from corrupt financial practices and will take your complaint straight to the company responsible.
Contact your state’s Attorney General.
In addition to the FDCPA, each state may have its own laws about debt collection. To find out more about the laws in your state, contact your Attorney General. If you find that the debt collector in question appears to be breaking your state-specific laws, then you may file a complaint with the Attorney General as well.