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Practical Money Matters Radio Series

June 25, 2012
Know Your Rights With Debt Collectors

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Are you being hounded by debt collectors? Understanding your rights as a consumer is critical.


If you've ever fallen so behind on repaying bills that they've been turned over to a debt collection agency, you know what it's like to dread whenever the phone rings. But remember, you do have certain rights under federal law.

For example, collectors cannot harass you by:

  • Using abusive language or threatening to have you arrested;
  • Calling before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m.;
  • Falsely representing themselves as attorneys or government employees;
  • Threatening to sue you if they don't intend to file a lawsuit;
  • Contacting others, except to verify where you live and work; or
  • Revealing to others that you owe money.

Bottom line: Don't ignore calls from debt collectors – just know how to protect yourself from harassment.

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