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Making Sure You Comply with Consumer Protection Laws When Collecting Debt

Part of the Credit & Collections Kit For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Although debt collection regulations are typically less stringent if you’re collecting your own debts in-house or if you’re collecting business debts, it’s good practice to collect your debts as if every single regulation applies to you. This short list will keep you in compliance with most federal and state consumer protection laws and constitutes a basis for good collection practices.

  • Work through the debtor’s lawyer: If a debtor has an attorney, don’t communicate with the debtor directly unless you have written permission to do so.

  • Respect your debtor’s privacy: Avoid communication about your collection with any third parties other than the debtor’s lawyer.

  • Be professional: Never use any abusive language or threats, and don’t harass a debtor.

  • Be honest: Never make any false or misleading statements to a debtor.

  • Be courteous: Make collection calls between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.

  • Respect the debtor’s right to dispute your claim: Send the debtor a validation letter within five days of your initial contact.

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