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Debt Collection and Your Legal Rights

Debt Collection

Debt Collection and Your Legal Rights

The financial position of being in debt is stressful enough on its own, without the added pressure of being pursued by credit card companies and debt collection agencies. As a debtor, however, you still have rights in the state of Georgia. Knowing those rights will go a long way towards helping you better manage your financial situation and regaining control.

The Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

The FDCPA is in place to provide protection from creditors, such as credit card companies and other debt collectors, if they are taking actions that are outside of the law. Violations may include deceptive practices, overly intrusive actions, and any debt illegal attempts to collect a debt owed. It must be noted you will still owe the debt and the creditor has the right to pursue legal action, regardless of these actions of the creditor.

Georgia Industrial Loan Act

There are additional protections afforded to debtors under the Georgia Industrial Loan Act, which go beyond the scope of the FDCPA. This act provides protections for loans or advances of $3,000 or less. If the loan is provided as consumer credit or is greater than a cash amount of $3,000, protections under the FDCPA at federal level apply.

It is important to understand how licensing comes into play, as it applies to protections under the Georgia ILA. Lenders such as banks, realtor companies, and the university system of Georgia do not need a license to provide loans of less than $3,000. However, most other creditors are required to hold a license in order to issue such loans. The ILA is also responsible for limiting the fees, late charges, and interest rates associated with applicable loans.

It is the debtor’s right to receive a written itemization that details the amount of the loan and date of issue. Any such statement must include a payment schedule, loan security, how much cash the debtor received, and associated fees and interest on the loan.

A creditor cannot extend the loan outside of established procedure and is prohibited from engaging in intimidating or aggressive actions in pursuit of debt collection. There are specific rules which must be adhered to on the part of the creditor. Below are just some of the actions which creditors cannot take against a debtor.

  • Inflict harm, threaten to or use violence
  • Cause the debtor physical harm, make threats of violence through criminality which would inflict harm on the debtor, his/her reputation, or property
  • Make false claims of criminality
  • Harass through phone calls or the use of profane language
  • Trespass on the debtor’s property without seeking the legal right to be there
  • Cause the debtor embarrassment

You can find more information on the FDCPA Here, and the Georgia ILA here. If you would like to discuss addressing your debts through filing bankruptcy, reach out to the offices of H. Lehman Franklin. We have the expertise you need to receive additional support in restructuring your personal finances. Call 912-764-9616 today for a free consultation.