Because of reasons beyond your control, you could end up in a situation where you cannot repay your loans and credit card bills as per schedule. Creditors have the right to take legal action, if you refuse to repay the dues, but before that, they would try all textbook means to solicit payments.
One of the common strategies is to hire a debt collection agency, and in Illinois, debt collectors are regulated by the FDCPA. There’s also the ICAA (Illinois Collection Agency Act), which is a regulatory body. Not many people understand Illinois debt collection laws, which is why it is best to hire an attorney at the earliest. Here are some of the things that debt collectors are not allowed to do.
- Threatening the debtor. The debt collection agency cannot enter the debtor’s house forcefully or threaten them or their family in any manner.
- Threatening legal action. If your creditor has hired a lawyer, they can certainly initiate legal action against you, but debt collectors don’t have such powers.
- Disclosing information to others is also not allowed, as this can tarnish the reputation of the debtor, especially if the debt collector knows that the information is untrue.
- Calling the debtor at odd hours. A debt collector can only call a debtor between 8 am and 9 pm. If you are being flooded with calls and messages at inconvenient hours, talk to your attorney.
- Using abusive language. While agencies often use tough words to get repayments, they are not allowed to use language that’s obscene or profane in any manner.
- Threatening to disclose information. A debt collector cannot blackmail a person into paying money by saying that they would disclose their debt to others.
- Using uniform or badge. Debt collectors cannot pose as an official of the government or law enforcement.
- Misrepresenting facts in any manner. If you believe that the agency is lying about the debt amount or other facts, you could drag them to court.
The ICAA requires debt collectors to send a written notice to the debtor within five days from the first day of contact. The notice should include the name of the creditor, the amount of the debt, and the fact that you have 30 days to dispute the debt’s validity.
If you believe that the creditor or lending institution is asking for more money through inflated charges, add-ons, and dues, your lawyer can help determine what your loan is worth and if you have a case.