After years of heated debate between consumer advocacy groups and the financial services industry, the United States Congress passed a landmark law that evened the legal playing field for consumers hassled by aggressive third party debt collectors.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) makes it unlawful for debt collection agencies to harass consumers by using abusive language or issuing physical threats in attempts to collect outstanding credit account and personal loan balances.
The FDCPA also prohibits the implementation of deceptive techniques to collect delinquent debts, such as impersonating a law enforcement official.
One of the lesser known protections written into the FDCPA involves phone calls made by third party debt collectors. A phone call made by a representative from a debt collection agency can cause considerable anxiety, from wondering how the outstanding debt will affect family finances to the perception of professional peers who learn about your financial situation.
The answer to alleviating the anxiety triggered by a phone call from a bill collector like Gatestone & Co. International, Inc. is to hire a licensed consumer protection lawyer.
Know What Information to Give
You can count on a representative from Gatestone & Co. International, Inc. to have received plenty of training in preparation for calling consumers that owe money on credit card and/or personal loan accounts.
Collection agency representatives practice reading from a script dozens of times before they make the first collection phone call. You can expect a representative from Gatestone & Co. International, Inc. to know which questions to ask and what order to ask the questions.
The questions will come at a rapid fire pace to get you to reveal information you do not have to reveal under the FDCPA. An experienced FDCPA lawyer will coach you on what information to give, as well as what information to withhold from Gatestone & Co. International, Inc.
How to Handle a Phone Conversation with Gatestone & Co. International, Inc.
If a debt collection agency violates one or more provisions of the FDCPA, proving the bill collector violated the FDCPA often comes down to your word against the agency’s word. That is, unless you tape record a phone conversation you have with a third party debt collector.
Make sure to explain your intention to tape record the phone conversation. You should also ask Gatestone & Co. International, Inc. to send you proof the debt in question is valid.
When a debt collection agency calls, you can simply say you do not want to speak with the representative. If you want to share information, share only basic information such as your name and address.
A third party debt collector might push hard for more answers to questions, but you do not have to divulge anything, especially answers to the following questions.
- Does your spouse work?
- Do you have additional income sources?
- Do you own a home or rent an apartment?
- How much is your monthly car payment?
- Do you have a checking account?
- How much do you owe on other credit accounts?
Take advantage of the legal rights granted by the FDCPA to ensure a representative from Gatestone & Co. International, Inc. does not get the best of you. Speak with an accomplished consumer protection lawyer today to learn more about your FDCPA rights.
*Disclaimer: The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be constructed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Gatestone & Co. International, Inc. or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.