Know Your Rights to Protect Yourself from Debt Collection Scams
It’s an unfortunate reality that numerous debt collection scams are used to prey on unsuspecting victims across the United States. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, you have a variety of rights guaranteed to you to protect you from abusive or misleading tactics.
Some of your rights as a debtor include the following:
- The right to notification that debt collection activity is truly debt collection activity and is not being misrepresented in any way
- The right to be provided with documentation of how much you owe and to whom
- The right to dispute your debts
- The right to request a debt collector stop contacting you
- The right to not be contacted over the phone while at work or at other unreasonable times of day
- The right to control the debts to which you apply your money
The FDCPA also prevents debt collectors from engaging in a variety of tactics, including:
- Harassing, abusing, coercing or threatening you, your family or your friends
- Using any deceptive or false statements as a means to collect debt
- Telling you, as a scare tactic, that you may be arrested if you fail to pay off your debt
- Calling you at work after being told they are not allowed to do so
- Claiming they will garnish wages if they do not have the ability to do so
- Telling anyone else you owe them a debt
- Taking or threatening to take any of your personal property
- Collecting more than you owe or have agreed to pay in settlement negotiations
The FDCPA is not the only means of protection Ohio residents have against abusive debt collection practices. State law also protects some of your assets from debt collection.
If, for example, a debt collector secures a judgment against you in court, it can usually collect via wage garnishment, seizing property or putting liens on your home. However, the state limits the amount of property the collector can take. Ohio law will shield up to $136,925 of home equity and $3,775 of vehicle equity, along with up to $12,625 in value in household goods and $1,600 in value of jewelry. Debt collectors must also leave at least $475 in your bank account.
For further information on the federal and state protections afforded to you against debt collection practices, contact an experienced Dayton, Ohio bankruptcy attorney with Fox & Associates Co., L.P.A.