What Things Can't A Collection Agency Do?

  • publish lists of people who owe money; use a badge or uniform of a law enforcement agency or claim to be from a government agency;
  • use documents which look like court or government documents, telegrams, or emergency messages;
  • make collect phone calls or send collect telegrams;
  • violate postal regulations;
  • threaten to add charges that aren't legal, for example, an interest rate higher than the rate in the original contract;
  • garnish wages or take debtors home or possessions without a court judgment, however, an exception exists for federally guaranteed student loans that are in default. A federal law provides for an administrative garnishment up to 10% of the debtor's pay, or;
  • threaten to have a debtor put in jail for bad debt.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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