Debtors are by Law Protected against Unfair Conduct by Creditors who can be Liable for Collection Torts if they are Overly Aggressive in their Collection Activities
Don't engage in the following collection activities that could result in liability for unfair debt collection practices
- Call before 8 am or after 9 pm, unless you are aware that the debtor works during those hours. If they work nights, you should not call during the daytime hours (hours of sleep).
- Contact the customer outside regular business hours.
- Cause a phone to ring repeatedly so as to annoy the person called.
- Place phone calls without disclosing your identity.
- Cause expense to a debtor for long distance telephone calls, telegrams, or other communications, by misrepresenting the purpose of the communication.
- Record a telephone conversation without the other party’s consent, (substantial civil penalties may also be imposed when a telephone conversation is surreptitiously recorded, and moreover, the recording is generally not admissible in court).
- Communicate with anyone, but the debtor about the nature of the communication (you may however, communicate with a debtor’s spouse, if legally responsible, debtor’s attorney, a court appointed guardian, or parents of a minor).
- Represent that you are anybody other than who you are, that is, you may not represent yourself as an attorney, a collection agency, the “legal department”, and so forth.
- Use or threaten to use physical force.
- Use obscene language, threaten, shout at, or argue with the debtor.
- Threaten criminal prosecution to recover a debt or otherwise settle a civil dispute.
- Make public statements about the customer’s credit problems or moral character.
- Threaten garnishment or attachment of wages, or seizure or sale of property unless an action that would result in those activities is permitted by law and is in fact, contemplated by the debtor collector (that is, if you threaten to sue, you had better sue).
- Communicate with employers, unless you have prior written consent from the debtor (you may write to an employer to verify employment). However, contact with the debtor at his place of employment is permissible, but, all contact must stop: at the debtor’s request; if you know or are told that the employer forbids contact; or if you know contact at work is inconvenient.