The constant phone calls. The foul language. The lack of privacy. This shouldn’t be the kind of behavior that third-party collectors engage in, no matter how big of a debt they claim to be collecting from you. These third-party collectors could be facing some serious problems if they have been harassing you.
These problems stem from the fact that they are probably violating the Federal Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Under the FDCPA, third-party collectors aren't supposed to engage in behaviors that qualify as harassing consumers. For example, these collectors shouldn't be pretending to be the IRS or government agency, using profane language, or discussing your debt with inappropriate parties. This is just a short list of the behaviors that the collectors aren't supposed to engage in.
If you have been on the receiving end of any of the aforementioned violations, then you should consider contacting an FDCPA attorney. This attorney will be in the best possible position to make the harassment stop, and they will advocate on your behalf to get you any compensation you may be entitled to for the FDCPA violations.
Delaware’s Specific FDCPA Laws
Like many states, the statute of limitations on collecting debt in Delaware is three years, though it’s four years for credit card debt. Another Delaware debt collection law that protects consumers stipulates that collectors in the state must pay a fee and obtain a license, which may help somewhat with accountability.
That being said, Delaware does not have particular debt collection laws that are meant to punish third-party collectors. Although Delaware does not have unique debt collection laws for consumers, which means that you’ll probably get more benefits by exercising your right under the FDCPA. Since the FDCPA is a federal law, its protections will extend to you, no matter what state you’re in.
How Delaware’s Act Bolsters the FDCPA
The FDCPA also offers rather robust protections in conjunction with Delaware’s debt collection laws. According to the FDCPA, third-party collectors may not:
- Pretend to be an IRS agent
- Try to collect an amount that wasn’t agreed upon in your initial agreement
- Threaten to seize your property
- Try to collect an old debt
- Talk about your debt with anyone but you, your spouse, and/or your attorney
This is not an exhaustive list of all of the rights violations of the FDCPA; you can find a longer list of rights violations online.
Talk to An Attorney Today
Being harassed by a third-party collectors in Delaware (or any state) is an unfortunate, embarrassing, and all-too-common occurrence. These collectors should not be treating you badly, and again, no matter how large your debt is, you do not deserve to be treated poorly. These collectors that are in violation of the FDCPA are not only an annoyance--they also have the potential to make the job of legitimate debt collectors much harder.
Each FDCPA violation could cost the third-party collector $1,000--money that you could gain. That being said, standing up for yourself will not only be good for you; it could also help deter the third-party collectors from exhibiting the same bad behavior. Contact an attorney today to find out what your options in Delaware are, and start seeking some relief.