If you owe money to any company or organization, you – as the debtor – have rights, and the creditor must follow specific rules in order to legally collect the monies owed. Specifically, creditors must abide by the terms of Oregon’s Unlawful Debt Collection Practices Act and the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act; failure to do so can mean that creditors must pay YOU for any damages or mental anguish you have suffered as a result of these violations. Additionally, creditors can be forced to pay for your legal fees, additional compensation of up to $1,000 for violating state and federal laws and additional monies for punitive damages.
Among the behaviors and methods that are classified as illegal means for creditors to collect debt are using obscene or abusive language and calling your employer about the debt. In fact, a creditor can not call you at work at all, unless he has in good faith already tried to reach you at home between the hours of 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. without success. In these cases, the creditor may try to reach you at work but can only attempt to do so one time per week. Additionally, creditors are only legally allowed to send letters to your place of employment if your home address is not available.
If a creditor sells your debt to a debt collection agency, this agency must abide by the same laws as the creditor itself; failure to do so can result in similar penalties.
Talk to a Debt Expert
If you are unsure about your rights, are trying to get creditors off your back and want to know more about your options, talk to our bankruptcy and debt experts. We have more than a decade of experience helping those in debt achieve financial stability, and we are dedicated to working with each of our Clients to help them figure out the best options and how to proceed with them.