If you’re being sued by a creditor or debt collection agency, don’t ignore the problem. In many cases, these institutions don’t have the right to sue you and simply knowing your rights could put an end to the problem.
Are you behind on your credit card payments, your home mortgage, a personal loan or other debt? If so, you may be contacted by the creditor or a debt collection agency acting on the creditor’s behalf. While the law does not prohibit reasonable attempts to collect legitimate debts, both state and federal laws protect you from abusive debt collection practices.
What types of debt collection practices are prohibited?
Vermont law prohibits the following practices regardless of whether the debt is being collected by the creditor, an attorney or a third-party collection agency.
- Threats. Debt collectors may not threaten action that they will not or cannot take.
- Harassment. Debt collectors may not harass, oppress, or abuse anyone.
- Unreasonable publication. The law prohibits a debt collector from notifying other people about your debt.
- Deceptive Representations. Debt collectors may not engage in deception in attempting to collect a debt.
- Unconscionable Means. Debt collectors may not use unconscionable methods to collect a debt.
For example, debt collectors may:
- not misrepresent who they are or who they work for.
- not falsely imply the amount of the debt or any legal action that can be taken.
- only contact you between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.
- not continually call your phone or harass you. During a phone call, a debt collector must identify him/herself and may not threaten violence against you or your family or use profane language.
- only contact you at work if he or she cannot reach you at home in between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.
- not call you more than one time a week at work and must stop calling you at work if you tell the debt collector not to contact you at work.
Read more: https://www.uvm.edu/consumer/?Page=dcr.html