Debtors in Tennessee and throughout the country may be contacted by a debt collection agency. While there are many tactics that they can use to collect payment, there are also things they cannot do in an effort to obtain a debt. It is important for an individual to understand his or her rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA. It prohibits debt collectors from using abusive language or from contacting debtors at work.

Collectors are also prohibited from calling before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. without permission to do so. Debt collectors are also prohibited from contacting a debtor if they have been asked to do so in writing. The only exception is to acknowledge receipt of such a request or to inform a debtor about a lawsuit or other action. Furthermore, the FDCPA makes it illegal to contact a debtor’s family members.

Those who are being harassed by a creditor can make a complaint to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or the Federal Trade Commission. If a debt collector does contact an individual, he or she has the right to dispute its validity. Debt collection agencies are required to verify that a debt is valid once it has been disputed. Individuals are also entitled to know the name and address of the original creditor and the amount owed.

Anyone who is struggling to repay credit card debt or any other debt may benefit by filing for bankruptcy. Doing so may make it possible to either have balances discharged immediately or allow them to be repaid over a period of three or five years. While a case is ongoing, creditors are generally not allowed to contact a debtor for any reason. If contact occurs, a debtor may be entitled to compensation.