Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) – At this time of year, a lot of people are going into debt, and in January calls and notices can come in if payments are late.
However, there are rules that debt collectors must follow.
If it looks like you are bombarded with calls from collection agents, remember that they have to follow certain rules, and if they don’t, there’s a good chance someone is trying to get you. scam. New rules for debt collectors came into effect on November 30.
The narrator of a Federal Trade Commission video asks, âAre you overdue on your invoices? Even if you owe more than you can afford, you still have rights.
Most legitimate debt collectors follow the rules. And if they aren’t, chances are they aren’t a legitimate debt collector.
Better Business Bureau president Angela Guth said the first thing to do is validate the debt and the company trying to collect it.
âWhat is the nature of this collection? Where is he from ? Is it a credit card? Is this a doctor’s office that you need? Can they give you an account number eventually? Very important service date, âsaid Guth.
Also, legitimate debt collectors should not threaten you, as it is against the law.
An FTC video shows examples of unacceptable calls: âIf you don’t pay, we’ll get you arrested and kicked out. Or this: “This is your final warning. Pay now or we’ll contact your employer and charge them.
Guth says to hang up and report the call.
Debt collectors can now contact you on social media, but it must be a private message.
âAs with phone calls – with phone calls they are not allowed to call you until 8 am. They are not allowed to contact you after 9 p.m., âGuth said. âThe same things are going to happen every time it comes to social media. It cannot be a public post that they post to your profile. They actually have to contact you through Messenger – a kind of direct messaging.
If you have a problem with a debt collector, you can file a complaint.
For more information on filing a complaint, click HERE. You can also file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau online or by calling (855) 411-2372. You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.
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