Fair debt collection rules In Oklahoma apply to debt collectors both inside and outside the state. Federal and state laws limit creditors and collection agencies when collecting debts. Most states have enacted laws applicable to debt collection. Many are like the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, while some are broader and apply to the original creditor. States also have laws regulating unfair and deceptive acts that may apply to debt collection. Oklahoma laws provide some protection for debtors attempting to collect a debt. This includes debts discharged in bankruptcy, but the majority of protection from unscrupulous debt collectors derives from federal, not Oklahoma, law.
Federal Law and Debt Collection
A large amount of federal legislation regulates debt collection. One of the most powerful federal acts is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Other important federal legislation includes the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
The FDCPA prohibits debt collectors from using abusive, unfair, or deceptive practices to collect debts from you. Any debt collector that violates the rights of consumers under any FDCPA section may grant that consumer a cause of action for compensation even if the consumer does not suffer any harm. The consumer may also recover attorney’s fees from the offending debt collector, which means consumers may enforce their rights under the FDCPA at minimal legal cost.
This civil lawsuit may be brought against debt collectors who violate a consumer’s rights under the FDCPA through repeated contact, threats, abuse, or misrepresentation. The FDCPA allows consumers to recover damages up to $1,000 from a debt collector. However, it is essential to note that the FDCPA only applies to third-party debt collectors, not original creditors. So, if Best Buy tries to collect a debt that you owe to Best Buy, the FDCPA does not apply to nor regulate their debt collection procedures. Also, the FDCPA does not apply to the collection of business debts.
The FDCPA applies to attempts to collect debts, including:
- Credit card debts
- Medical debts
- Debts incurred for personal, family, or household purposes.
What Can A Debt Collector Do?
Under the FDCPA, debt collectors may only contact you from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., but you may agree otherwise. You have the right to inform creditors in writing to cease making any contact with you at home or work. Debt collectors may make phone calls, send letters, emails, or text messages as debt collection methods. They may also send written or electronic correspondence to collect a debt. Debt collectors may not harass you or anyone else over the phone or through any other form of contact.
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The Telephone Consumer Protection Act
The TCPA is a federal law regulating the use of the telephone to collect a debt, telemarketing, and the transmission of specific types of phone calls, text messages, and facsimiles. The law also restricts automatic dialing systems and prerecorded voice messages.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act
The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act applies to credit reporting and how a credit reporting agency can report the collection of debts in your credit report. The FCRA provides consumers with certain rights to dispute entries in their credit history.
Tulsa Oklahoma Bankruptcy Lawyers Near You
Fair debt collection rules in Oklahoma apply and must be respected. A debt collector may not use unfair or unconscionable means to collect or attempt to collect any debt. Federal law provides consumers with the right to sue for violations of the FDCPA by unscrupulous debt collectors. Some relief may also be available by filing a chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy. You may even recover your attorney fees under the FDCPA. If you believe a creditor has been too aggressive and violated federal or state law you have rights. The attorneys at Kania Law Office are experienced and knowledgeable in protecting and asserting the rights of consumers who are the victims of wrongful debt collection practices. For more information about how our Oklahoma debt collection lawyers can help you, please call (918) 743-2233 today or contact us online.