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bill collecting laws

How a Consumer Advocate Can Help You Handle Debt Collectors

A consumer advocate specializing in debt collection practices can be a useful option to help you get through the credit collection process. Consumer advocates (or Unions) are set up to act as a layer of protection between you & a debt collector, like Diversified Consultant, once your debts fall behind. Most Consumers Unions were formed by experienced professionals from the Debt Reduction, Credit Counseling, Student Loans, Mortgage, Credit Cards, and Collection Industry.

These groups were created in response to abusive creditor collection techniques, used against clients involved in Debt Relief Programs. Realizing first hand that most customers have little knowledge of their rights and are ill equipped to handle collection harassment, the consumers union was designed to help debtors stand up to abusive creditors. Most consumer advocate’s help their clients through a combination of client education and protection.

The first goal of the Consumers Union is to educate clients on their rights, when a debt collector is pursuing them. These rights are granted by state law and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). This act specifies what kind of behavior is acceptable when collecting a debt, including the time of day a debtor can be called, what defines a debt collector, ways a collector can try to make contact, use of vulgar language or threats of violence and excessive/repeated phone calls.

Collectors commonly violate these laws, either because they are poorly trained or are counting on the fact that the consumer does not understand or is unaware of their rights. Being in debt and getting creditor calls can be an extremely stressful and intimidating situation. Even some people who do know their rights, are, too frightened by the collectors to take action. This is where the Consumers Union can step in between you and the creditor, to offer the protection you need in this vulnerable situation.

A Consumer Advocate is not only designed to educate, but also to protect their members. If you are dealing with a collector, like eos debt collectors, and they are ignoring the laws which regulates their industry, the Consumers Union should be able to contact the abusive creditor, on your behalf. Most unions will provide helpful documentation regarding your rights, a call script for handling collector calls and call logs for tracking purposes. In many cases a cease letter will be sent instructing the debt collector to stop all communications with the client. If this is ineffective, they can help you file a complaint or even refer you to an attorney, if need be.

Many people do not know their basic consumer credit rights. When a debt collector calls on the phone or sends a threatening letter, it is easy to become intimidated. The young and the elderly are especially susceptible to being unfairly coerced by communication from bill collectors. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) serves to protect debtors of all ages (and income levels) against unlawful and illegal bill collection activities.

A common threat unscrupulous debt collectors like to use, is that you can go to jail for not paying your bills. While it is true that you can go to jail if you take out a credit card with a fake Social Security Number or do not pay your child support, this is not the case in almost all consumer debts. Under consumer credit rights, you cannot be arrested for failing to pay a simple debt. Also, even if you did commit a crime, a bill collector, like Transworld Systems, cannot just toss you into jail and give you a prison sentence. There are courts and procedures, and the debt collector has nothing to do with the justice system.

Consumer credit rights also dictate that bill collectors may only call between 8 a.m. and nine p.m. in the debtor’s time zone. Also, they cannot call you repeatedly or talk to others about the bills they claim that you owe. Whenever a debt collector calls or writes you a letter, he or she must identify why they are calling and that any information they receive can be used for the purpose of trying to collect a debt.

In the debt relief industry, the services of a Consumers Union will usually be offered with or as part of a debt help program such as debt settlement, debt reduction, credit counseling, debt management or foreclosure relief. Most of these organizations have in-house customer service departments that can help clients deal with debt collectors, and the Consumers Union will be utilized in extreme cases of abuse and harassment. For many people, the Consumers Union can help relieve a lot of the pressure associated with the inevitable creditor or debt collection calls, when the fall behind payments on a debt.