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Creditor Calls

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Highly illegal unless given personal permission by the client or customer, creditor calls beyond the norm can be prevented by state and federal laws. But what exactly is the norm? By the time most nonpaying customers, either by choice or life's circumstances happens to receive collection creditor calls the creditor can become very ugly. For this reason, every attempt to make some sort of arrangements should be done before things get to this point, even though there are situations when the money is simply not there.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) limits the type of legal practices that can be practiced by debt collectors, recognizing that abusive debt collection practices—such as creditor calls--actually have a lot to do with the increase in personal bankruptcies, in marital instability, in the numbers of job loss, and with invasions of individual privacy. Most people do not go into debt on purpose, or for something to do because they are bored. Many situations are at fault: lost jobs, a drop in household income, emergency situations, or death in the family of a major income source.

Creditor calls, depending on the situation, are not the only legal way debt collectors can reach their clients. They actually can contact any friend, family or employers, as long as they do not refer to the debt involved, or imply they are a debt collector. If the client has hired a lawyer, the debt collector cannot make creditor calls or personal visits, but instead is to contact the attorney only regarding the debt. If the creditor is allowed to call, they cannot call before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. the client's time. And the most important law to follow is that they cannot call the employer of the client, unless the client gives permission.

The real problem is that most debt collectors realize, or think, that most people cannot afford to take them to court, or have to time or energy to do so—therefore, they do many things that are illegal. But once a person files bankruptcy then the contact is in contempt of a federal restraining order, or "automatic stay". The only way a debt collector can make creditor calls after bankruptcy is if that particular debt escaped the discharge and is not on the bankruptcy list.

What spurs most debt collectors on is that most of them get about 25% of whatever is paid to them—which makes their goal a monetary one, to get a percentage of your money as part of their own income, which accounts for the cut-throat tactics used by many. In the initial stages of collection it does not matter to them whether the bill amount is correct or not, because the collectors of debts will accept the computer amount first. And besides, most of the bill notices that come in the mail are simply computer generated with no signatures involved, but instead having a signature stamp on it.





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