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Understanding the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

If you owe a debt in Illinois, there are certain guidelines by which collectors must abide. Unfortunately, our attorneys at Ledford, Wu & Borges, LLC, have seen all too often how these entities try to take advantage of consumers through using illegal practices.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was enacted in 1996 to prevent debt collectors from engaging in abusive practices. The Federal Trade Commission is tasked with enforcing the provisions of the act and keeping you safe from predatory collection agencies. Debts such as credit card, medical and mortgage are all protected under the act.

The act provides you with the following protection against debt collectors: 

  • They cannot contact you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
  • They cannot contact you once you have put in writing to them to stop.
  • They cannot threaten you or use profane language.
  • They cannot make any false statements regarding your debt, such as how much you owe or claiming that you have committed a crime.

It is considered an unfair practice if a collection agency attempts to collect money on top of what you owe unless the agreement you made specifically allows for it. Further, the agency may not deposit a check that has been post-dated early.

If you feel your rights have been violated, it is imperative to take action. You can contact the Illinois Attorney General with a complaint as well as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission.

For more information on this topic, please visit our page on consumer protection.

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