Ohio Creditor Harassment HelpSTOP Creditor Harassment
Many debtors think they are helpless when it comes to the onslaught of calls and letters from bill collectors and creditors, yet there are severe limitations in what they can and cannot do.
There are federal laws which govern the actions of debt collection agencies such as the Federal Debt Collection Practices Act and the States have adopted their own protection such as the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act (http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/1345) and the Ohio Deceptive Trade Practices Act (http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/4165).
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FDCPA ViolationsWhile Acquiring Location Information, Debt Collectors May Not:
- unless you ask the collector, state for whom he or she works;
- Inform others, including family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers that you owe a consumer debt;
- Not communicate by post card;
- Not use any language or symbols on envelopes or any mail parcels that indicate that the communication is from a debt collector or the contents of the mail parcel relates to the collection of debt;
- Communicate with the consumer debtor or anyone else once the debt collector knows the debtor is represented by an attorney.
While Communicating Directly With Consumer Debtors, Collectors May Not:
- Contact you at any unusual time or place: Inconvenient times are considered to be between the hours of 9:01 p.m. to 7:59 a.m.;
- Contact you if the debt collector knows that you are represented by an attorney or can ascertain the name, address, or telephone number of your attorney;
- Contact you at your place of employment.
Harassment and Abuse Occurs When debt collectors Do The Following:
- Uses or threatens the use of fiscal violence or other means to harm one's person, reputation, or property;
- Uses language that is intended to abuse the hearer of such person;
- Calls consumer debtors repeatedly with the intent to annoy, abuse, and harass;
- Not divulge their identity and collection agency.
False and Misleading Violations Occur When Collectors:
- Represent falsely that they are a police officer, government official, or affiliated with the United State government;
- Falsely represent that they are an attorney or that their communication is from an attorney;
- Threaten that non-payment will result in arrest or imprisonment;
- Threaten that nonpayment will result in loss of property or loss of wages;
- Threaten to take action that the collector cannot legally take;
- State that the consumer committed a crime;
- Threaten to communicate information that is false or should be known to be false;
- Use false, misleading, or deceptive information in an attempt to collect a debt.
- Use any business name other than its "true" business name.
Unfair Practices Occur When A Debt Collector Does One Of The Following:
- Collects an amount (interest fees or any expense other than the original purchasing agreement) that is not not authorized by the original agreement or by law;
- Communicates with a consumer by postcard;
- Deposits or threatens to deposit postdated checks prior to the date on said check.
When validating debts, debt collectors must, within five days of the initial communication with the debt collector:
- Disclose the amount of the debt;
- Disclose the name of the original creditor;
- Have a statement in the communication that states: "Unless the consumer, within thirty days after receipt of the notice, disputes the validity of the debt, or any portion thereof, the debt will be assumed to be valid by the debt collector;
- Have a statement that states: "If the Consumer notifies the debt collector in writing within the thirty-day period that the debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, the debt collector will obtain verification of the debt or a copy of a judgment will be mailed to the consumer by the debt collector;"
- Have a statement that states: "Upon the consumer's written request within the thirty-day period, the debt collector will provide the name and address of the original creditor, if different from the current creditor;
- Not contact you if you have disputes or requested verification of your debt.