Your Rights in Dealing with Debt Collectors

Whether your debt is student loans, credit cards or medical bills, you have the right to be treated with dignity and respect.

Both Federal law and California law regulate how debt collectors may deal with you in trying to collect consumer debt. Even if you owe a debt and are unable to pay it, you still have rights.

Debt collectors CAN NOT:

  • Yell, swear at, or insult you.

  • Call your workplace if you have told them not to.

  • Contact you before 8:00 am or after 9:00 pm or in any way that the debt collector knows is inconvenient to you, such as calling in the daytime if the debt collector knows you work at night.

  • Inform your friends, neighbors, or family members (except your spouse) that you owe money to someone, or call your friends & family members repeatedly.

  • Harass you in any other way, like calling multiple times in one day or calling immediately after you hang up with them.

  • Make Robo-calls or texts to your cell phone.

  • Threaten a lawsuit if they do not intend to file one, or threaten liens or wage garnishment unless they already have a judgment against you.

  • Threaten to have you arrested.

Debt collectors can be sued for violating the law. You may need to take steps to record these activities and preserve your rights.

See related post on what to do if the debt collector says there is already a court judgment against you.

 

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