Lawmaking agencies realize the challenges of dealing with debt collection calls. Hence, most countries have a set of guidelines that regulate a debt collection agent’s actions.
However, most people are unaware of the nitty-gritty of the laws that debt collection agents must adhere to. Hence, most collection agents often get away with outright intimidation and threats. So if you think that you have faced Midland Credit phone harassment, it is time to contact your legal advisor.
What Are The Legal Norms that Regulate Debt Collection?
A person who is responsible for collecting your monthly installments cannot adopt unfair means to realize his goals. You can sue the agent if he breaches any of the fair practice standards. Some of the legal norms that you must keep in mind while receiving debt repayment-related calls are as follows.
Collection Agents Cannot Take Up A False Identity
One of the common tropes used by a debt collection agent is to assume a false identity while making calls. For instance, a collection agent may pretend to be a salesman or a bank employee. However, legal norms forbid a person from falsifying his identity to collect valuable financial or any other information from a debtor.
If you are suspicious that a debt collector is impersonating someone else, you can press charges against him. However, you must have solid proof against a person before you press charges. So you must consult your legal advisor if you find any particular phone call suspicious.
Collection Agents Cannot Call You Repeatedly
A person responsible for collecting your loan installments can call you to remind you about your repayment dates. However, when the calls go, gentle reminders, there is a problem.
There are many reasons a collection agent may make frequent calls, some of which are listed below.
- If a collection agent wants you to pay any charges over and above your monthly installment, you can sue him.
- If he wants to deposit your post-dated check at an earlier date, then too, you can sue.
- If he wants to publish your name because of your inability to pay an installment on time (unless it is stated in a contract), you can press charges.
So there are several grounds on which a debt collector can make multiple calls. But you are not obligated to answer any of those calls.
Recovery Agents Cannot Misguide
At times recovery agents may ask you to pay an additional payment or ascribe a false debt amount to you. However, such comments must not be encouraged further. You must not pay anything beyond your regular installment. And if a larger amount of debt is being ascribed to you, contact the bank that sanctioned your loan.
Likewise, if the recovery agents start charging higher rates of interest midway between the tenure of a loan, you must take action.
Recovery Agents Cannot Use Foul Language
Under no circumstances can a collection agent use foul language when he is communicating with a debtor. You cannot be abused even if you cannot pay an installment on time. So if you have been getting threats or abusive language has been used, you may record the calls.
It Is Alright To Ask The Collector To Call At A More Convenient Time
You have no obligation to answer a call at any random hour of the day. You are well within your legal rights to ask the person from the collection agency to call at a more appropriate time. So if you are at work or at an important meeting, you must not feel any compulsion to answer calls related to loan repayments.
It Is Alright Not To Divulge Any Financial Details
You are not expected to divulge a lot of details to a person who poses as a collection in-charge over the phone. A recovery agent should have all the details like the loan amount, the monthly installment etc., so you should not share any financial details at all.
In fact, many scamsters pose as recovery agents to gain information about your finances. So never share details like bank account numbers, credit or debit card details (from which installments are paid) etc., over a phone call.
Also, never make any payment in good faith. Sometimes scamsters ask you to make some payment in good faith, but if you are forced to pay anything beyond the installments, seek immediate legal help.
There Are No Penal Consequences For Not Receiving Phone Calls
There is no mandate that compels you to have verbal communication with a debt collection in-charge. If you feel that you will divulge too much information or if the person on the phone has been abusive, you can take the following steps
- You may inform the collection agency about your desire to communicate via post. In this case, you should no longer receive any phone calls, and the calls should stop as soon as the agency acknowledges your letter. Any information that must be conveyed to you should be via postal correspondence.
- You may designate your legal advisor as responsible for all your correspondence. In such cases, your legal advisor will receive calls and answer letters on your behalf.
Not Everyone Falls Within The Ambit Of A Debt Collector
If someone has delivered a service and you owe him payment, he is typically not bound by the laws applicable to a debt collector. If such a person calls repeatedly, you may use other laws to prohibit him. But he will not be regulated by the norms related to collection agents who work for banks and other financial institutions.
Navigating the legal landscape of debt collection can be a tough task. Paying installments on time is challenging, so you need not stress over the legalities of dealing with constant calls from recovery agents. You can hire a legal advisor, and he will take care of all your loan-related problems. A legal advisor will make all correspondence on your behalf and guide you in dealing with recovery agents.