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Local:423-954-7180
Local:423-954-7180

Your rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act--Part I

Many consumers in Tennessee have unpaid credit card debts and are harassed by debt collectors. Very few of them are aware that there is a federal law that protects the rights of the debtor. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was enacted in 1977 to prevent creditor harassment and abusive practices followed by debt collecting agencies.

The law protects the rights of the debtor against harassment, use of abusive language and threat of physical harm by debt collectors. The act also prohibits disclosure of debts and financial status of a debtor to third parties who are not authorized to receive such information. The act also prevents debt collectors from contacting the consumers at inconvenient times.

Under the provisions of the act, a consumer can sue the creditor or debt collector for violating any of the rights granted under the act. Class action lawsuits can also be filed to enforce the rights granted under the act. It is mandatory for debt collectors to inform consumers of their right to dispute the debt and the fact that the claim will be considered valid if the debt is not disputed within 30 days. The debt collector should also provide consumers with proof of the debt. This information can be provided on the phone or can be sent to the debtors within five days after they are contacted for the first time.

Consumers are required to send a verification letter to their debt collector or credit card company, if they wish to have proof of their debts. If the debt collector fails to provide proof of the debt to the debtor, the debt collection procedure must stop. Consumers can send a "cease" communication letter if the debt collector is calling the consumer frequently at work or anywhere else. The debtor can also insist that all communications be in writing and that the debt collector refrain from calling at all.

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Kenneth C. Rannick, P.C.
4416 Brainerd Road
Chattanooga, TN 37411

Phone: 423-954-7180
Phone: 423-624-4002
Fax: 423-624-0509
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