Georgia consumers know all-too well what it’s like to deal with unscrupulous debt collection agencies. In fact, some experts have gone so far as referring to the Peach State a “haven for abusive debt collectors.” Now, it looks like the whole country may start to experience more debt collector abuse. Even though several of the more notorious debt collection agencies have been fined and/or shut down due to violations, consumer complaints keep rolling in. This could mean that debt collection abuse in Georgia, which is already bad, may get increasingly worse in the next few years.
How Georgia Consumers can Protect Themselves against Abusive Debt Collectors
Debt collectors are not above the law. In 1977, the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) was established by Congress and contains a long list of things that debt collection agencies must do and things that they cannot do. In Georgia, consumers are protected by both the FDCPA and state laws that regulate debt collectors. Still, some debt collection agencies still persist in their violations. Often, it feels like when an abusive debt collector is finally brought down, three more come along to take its place.
In December of 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) received almost 7,200 complaints from consumers about debt collectors. This represents an 11% increase over the number of complaints filed in 2015. At the end of 2016, the CFPB had handled about 285,000 debt collection-related complaints since its inception.
Now that the current presidential administration seems poised to dismantle the CFPB, who will step in to ensure that FDCPA regulations are upheld? If debt collectors couldn’t be stopped from committing violations in Georgia and other states with a fully funded CFPB in place, what will happen when the Bureau is eradicated or at least severely compromised?
Regardless of what happens to the CFPB, the FDCPA isn’t going anywhere any time soon. Georgia consumers still have rights when it comes to dealing with abusive debt collectors. Georgians need to know what debt collectors are not permitted to do:
- Debt collectors may not call before 8 am and 9 pm unless they have express consent from a consumer.
- They are not allowed to contact friends, coworkers, or family members unless it is to find the whereabouts of a consumer.
- Debt collectors are not permitted to reveal details about the debt to third parties.
- Representatives from debt collection agencies may not call consumers repeatedly with the intent to harass or annoy their target.
- Debt collectors cannot use abusive language with or threaten a consumer with false consequences. For example, a consumer cannot be told that they will be put in jail.
- A debt collector may not pretend to be a law enforcement agent, a lawyer, or a process server. The must reveal their true identity and purpose for attempting communication with the consumer.
- Debt collection agencies are not permitted to go after consumers for debts that they don’t actually owe.
You should also be aware of the fact that debt collectors are obligated to stop calling you if you send them a request to do so in writing. If they ignore your request or commit any of the violations listed above, you have the right to take action. How? As a Georgia resident, you can get a FREE lawyer to help you stand up to abusive debt collection agencies. Check out this free short video, How to Fight Back against Collection Agencies.
The Free and Legal way to Stop Debt Collection Harassment
Don’t let debt collectors get away with violated your consumer rights. At Credit Repair Lawyers of America, we’ve been stopping abusive debt collectors for consumers since 2008 for free. How do we do it? The law allows us to collect our fees and costs from the defendants in any successful action. This is why our clients pay nothing for the work we do.
Let’s start the conversation about what we can do for your credit. Set up your free consultation today by calling Attorney Gary Nitzkin at (404)591-6680 or sending him a message through our contact page.