(These are the most common FDCPA violations)

A debt collector MAY NOT (despite what they say):

  1. Contact a third party about your debt for any purpose other than to locate you.
  2. Identity the debt collection company name to a 3rd party without being expressly asked.
  3. Disclose to a third party a debt is allegedly owed.
  4. Communicate with a single third party more than once.
  5. Communicate or attempt to communicate with you at inconvenient times or places.
  6. Contact you at work after being told not to.
  7. Communicate with you after receiving a letter from you (a) with a request they cease and desist all contacts or (b) that you refuse to pay the debt.
  8. Engage in harassing, oppressive or abusive conduct.
  9. Use or threaten violence or other criminal means, or use obscene or profane language.
  10. Cause your telephone to ring repeatedly or continuously.
  11. Use false, deceptive, or misleading representations or methods, including but not limited to (a) falsely representing it is affiliated with the United States or any State; (b) falsely representing the character, amount, or legal status of the debt; (c) falsely representing or implying that nonpayment would result in arrest or imprisonment or the seizure, garnishment, attachment, or sale of property or wages; (d) threatening to take an action against that cannot be legally taken or that was not actually intended to be taken; (e) falsely representing or implying that you committed a crime; or (f) communicating or threatening to communicate false or likely false credit information.
  12. Use unfair or unconscionable means in an attempt to collect a debt, including but not limited to: (a) trying to collect an amount not expressly authorized by the debt agreement/contract or other applicable law; (b) threatening to or actually depositing a postdated check prior to the date on such check; or (c) taking or threatening to take money or property where there was no present right.
  13. Continue to contact you after receiving your cease and desist or request for validation letter.
  14. Force you to pay the debt prior to expiration of your 30 day right to dispute.
  15. Sue you except in the county you signed the contract, you live or own property that is the subject of the debt.
  16. Falsely represent themselves as attorneys.
  17. ALSO, a debt collector MUST (despite what they say):

  18. Provide the notices required by 15 USC § 1692g either in the initial communication with you or in writing within 5 days after.
  19. Notify you in the initial communication it is “an attempt to collect a debt and any information obtained would be used for that purpose.”
  20. Notify you during each collection contact the communication was from a debt collector.
  21. Disclose the caller’s individual identity in every telephone call to you.

    ALWAYS, when communicating with a debt collector:

  22. Get the name, telephone number and name of the debt collection company that is calling you.
  23. Start a journal making detailed notes of everything that is said during the communications with the debt collector during or immediately after communicating with the debt collector.
  24. Save all letters, voices mails and anything else that you obtain during the debt collection process.
  25. Note whether the debt collector tells you if the call if being recorded OR if your telephone is called using an auto-dialer or electronic device.
  26. Pay debt collectors using check or money order after you have verified the validity of the debt and the legitimacy of the debt collection agency.

    NEVER, when communicating with a debt collector:

  27. Pay a debt collector by telephone.
  28. Pay a debt collector until they have provided proof they are legally collecting a valid debt.
  29. Give out personal information over the telephone to a debt collector.
  30. Allow debt collectors or creditors to treat you unfairly.
  31. Respond to an abusive debt collector by using abuse.