Acceptable vs. unacceptable debt collecting practices

Minnesota residents may dread getting contacted by debt collectors and fear the repercussions of delinquent accounts, but they might not be aware of what collection agencies are actually allowed to do and say. Some debt collectors go too far when trying to get payments, and consumers have rights when dealing with harassment and threats from collection agencies.

A person can submit a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau if a debt collector's behavior seems egregious or abusive. Collectors violate rules when using profanity when trying to collect a debt, calling at work after one requests no workplace calls or otherwise annoying someone like by calling multiple times a day. Debt collectors also cannot call before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m.

Some actions taken by debt collectors seem aggressive and worrisome like threatening to sue, but this practice and others are allowed. Debt collectors can give information about a debt to the debtor like what one owes or if settlement options are available, but a collector cannot discuss the debt with friends or family though they can call them when trying to find out information about one's phone number or address. Debt collectors can contact someone by phone, fax or mail and may also speak to someone in person, although this is less likely.

Whether one has overwhelming debt or is facing seemingly constant harassment from creditors, there are likely options that offer relief from creditors along with affordable solutions for paying down debts. A person who is in this type of situation might wish to speak with an attorney when considering options like bankruptcy for managing debts.

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