Federal Trade Commission Questions
I have a car loan through prestige financial. They call and start harassing me, threatening me, etc. even before my payment due date. They state there is no grace period, which is not stated in my contract, what is stated, and was even emailed to me by their representative is they do not assign fees until after 10 days. I get at times upwards of 20 calls per day and have been called names, threatened, etc. They have called my apartment offices and my boss. What can I do?Because of the wording of your contract, the company has the ability to pursue you for a payment after the payment is due. If your payment is due on the 21st, then you need to make your payment on or before the 21st. Not doing this gives the company the opportunity to repossess the vehicle.
As for the way the company is seeking payment, they are violating the Fair Collection Practices Act as well as the Consumer Protection Law.
The Federal Trade commission (FTC) regulates and enforces the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which protects the consumer form shady collection practices used by debt collectors.
There are several things that a debt collector is not allowed to do when trying to recover payment on debt.
Harassment: When debt collectors contact individuals attempting to recover payments, they are not allowed to harass or abuse the person or people associated with the person who owes the debt. The types of harassment include: making threats of violence; call repeatedly in an annoying manner, curse or use foul language, publically humiliate people by posting their names for not paying a debt.
Debt collectors can not lie to an individual when attempting to collect a debt. This means that they cannot; claim to be an attorney or a representative of a government office, tell you that you have committed a crime, tell you that they work with or for a credit reporting company, misguide you on the amount of debt owed, or lie about paperwork that they send you.
Debt collectors are not allowed to tell you that; you will go to jail if you don't pay your debt, tell you that they will garnish, sell or seize your property, telling you that they plan to sue you when they actually don't plan to.
There are a few other things that a debt collector cannot do when attempting to collect a debt, such as; giving incorrect credit information about you, send out documents that look to be official documents from a government office or court, or use a different name other than their actual company name.
Debt collectors are also not allowed to use unfair practices such as; collect additional charges apart from the actual debt that are not allowed by law, unlawfully take or threaten to take property, or deposit a posted dated check before the time that they agree to make the deposit.
If a debt collector violates any of these rules, you can sue them within one year of the offense. If you win your case, it is possible to be awarded damages resulting from the illegal attempt to collect debt. However, regardless of who wins the law suit, if you owe the debt, you will still have to pay it. If you have issues with a debt collector who is using deceptive or harassing tactics, you can report the issue to the Attorney General's office (www.naag.org) and/or the Federal Trade Commission (www.ftc.gov). Many states have different laws that pertain to debt collection. To learn the laws of your state, you can check with your Attorney General's office.
What can I do if a collection agency doesn't give me proof that they have the authority to collect a debt?Collection agencies are supposed to present an itemized statement of debt with authority to collect the debt. If the debt collector doesn't provide this information, they are in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and you can file suit against them. You could possibly receive up to $1000 for each violation plus have them pay your attorney fees. You can also file a complaint with the federal Trade Commission for not sending a valid debt document.
How can I enforce the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Protection in Fair Debt Law? I am being harassed by a collection agency on bogus charges from a landlord.You can file a suit against them. Hire a consumer protection law attorney to assist you in the law suit. The collection agency will probably have to pay your attorney fees. Before the collection agency can collect from you, they would have to obtain a court judgment and the only way to do that is to file a civil lawsuit
If you have questions or concerns about the Federal Trade Commission, you should contact an Expert who can offer legal insight about the FTC.