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What debt collectors can and cannot do

Many Ohio residents know what it is to deal with the burden of debt. This financial weight is often terribly exacerbated by aggressive debt collection efforts from agencies that knowingly skirt or break the law. It is essential for anyone in such a situation to know their rights and to stand up for them.

There are strict limits on when a debt collector may contact the debtor, and contact outside of these limits may be cause for a complaint to a supervising agency. A collection agency may attempt to collect on a debt by the mail, telephone, fax machine, or in person, but only between the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. If they do not have a home telephone to call, then they may contact the debtor at work, but anyone can stop creditor calls at work simply by demonstrating that their employer disapproves.

Collectors are allowed to try to locate their target through people that know them, such as friends and family. They are not allowed to alert the people as to why they are looking for the debtor or how much they owe. They may not pretend to be representatives of government agencies, and they cannot threaten to have the debtor arrested. Under no circumstances should they ever act in a threatening or aggressive matter towards the debtor.

It is also illegal for them to continue to harass a former debtor after the debts have been forgiven or the creditor has filed for some forms of bankruptcy. If a creditor continues to harass someone who has filed for bankruptcy, then it can be helpful to consult with an attorney to research options to defend against such unfair and inappropriate intrusions.

Source: WFMY News, "Dealing With Debt Collectors: What You Need To Know", June 25, 2014

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