Agencies which are trying to collect outstanding debts are legally authorized to contact debtors in North Carolina. However, under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, there are certain rules that debt collectors must follow. When companies violate these regulations, consumers are often left at the receiving end of unwanted and unwarranted communications.
The problem is so bad that many people feel threatened by these debt collection agencies. In fact, a recent study found that of people who had been contacted regarding outstanding debts, 27 percent felt harassed, reports the Consumerist. In addition, of those people who requested that debt collectors cease communicating with them, 75 percent reported that they continued to be contacted anyway.
Debt collectors are limited as to the times of day that they can contact people. They are also prohibited from certain behaviors, such as threatening people and implying that they have the authority to take legal action against a debtor. Many of the people surveyed also reported feeling threatened by the volume of calls they received. In fact, 17 percent reported being contacted by a creditor more than seven times in one week.
According to Money Magazine, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has proposed new rules that aim to safeguard consumers. If finalized, the number of times a collector can contact people will be restricted. Additionally, the rules would not only require debt collectors to make it easier for customers to dispute balances but would also require them to make sure that the information they are using the collect the debt is correct.