Debt Collection: Know Your Rights

Know someone who’s behind on their bills? Are debt collectors calling for payment? There are laws to protect you. Understanding your legal rights when dealing with debt collectors can help you avoid the bad ones who will say anything to get you to pay.

Transcript:

Falling behind on your bills? Even if you owe more than you can handle, you still have rights. Most legit debt collectors follow the rules, but bad debt collectors don’t. They break the law. So if you get a call like this,

“If you don’t pay, we will have you arrested and deported!”

or this,

“This is your final warning! Pay up now or we’ll contact your employer and make them pay!”

Hang up and report it to the Federal Trade Commission. You have the right to be treated fairly no matter what. That means debt collectors can’t use abusive language, threaten violence, or harass you or call you before 8:00 in the morning or after 9:00 at night. They can’t lie or pretend to be someone they’re not.

“I’m an attorney and will take legal action if you don’t pay this debt right away.”

Or get you to pay a debt that doesn’t even exist. They can’t have you arrested or deported or tell anyone about your debt.

Bad debt collectors like to knock you off your guard to get an advantage, create a sense of urgency, and rush you. They’ll say anything to get you to pay right now. Instead hang up and report it to the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov/complaint. We’ve stopped a lot of bad debt collectors, help us stop more.

For more information about debt collection visit consumer.gov/debt.

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