Fair Debt Collection Practices Act in Arizona Bankruptcy
A part of understanding your rights during a bankruptcy proceeding in Arizona is understanding your rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. These are a set of rules established to help protect those who owe debts from being victimized by collections representatives. There are a lot of collections scams in the world today, and once you file bankruptcy, it could be these who are calling you trying to coerce you to make a payment even if it does not benefit you in the least.
What are the rules established by the Fair Debt Collection Act?
The premise of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is to set guidelines for what debt collectors can and cannot do when they are on the phone with someone who owes a debt. Arizona requires that all debt collectors, or anyone who collects debt on behalf of an agency, to be licensed. Unlike the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Arizona’s guidelines are criminal and do not allow individuals to sue collection agencies for violations of the guidelines.
Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act:
- Representatives may not contact a debtor between the hours of 8:00 AM or after 9:00 PM in their timezone. What this means is that if a collector is in a different timezone, their calls cannot breach the Arizona timezone for calls.
- If a debtor is represented by an attorney, all communications with collectors must be handled by the attorney and not the debtor.
- Collection agencies are strictly prohibited from contacting a debtor while they are at their place of employment.
- Collection agencies are not allowed to disclose the existence of a debt to a third-party. Third-parties can only be contacted one time and for information to lead to the whereabouts of the debtor.
- A written letter notifying the debtor of the validity of the debt must be sent within five days of contact with instructions on what to do if the debtor does not believe it is their debt to pay.
- Can no longer contact a debtor once they declare the debt is not theirs
- Representatives of a collection agency are restricted from making threats of any kind including:
- Wage garnishment
- Seizure of property
- False or misleading statements cannot be made in an attempt to collect from a debtor
How the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act Protects Bankruptcy
When a bankruptcy is filed, a debtor will have an attorney. Per the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, all communications must go through the legal representative of a debtor when they have obtained one. Collections efforts are to cease once a bankruptcy case file has been verified to a collection agency.
An Arizona bankruptcy attorney knows all the rules the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act places on collections agencies. These attorneys handle communications with these collectors for their clients during the proceedings. If you are contemplating filing for bankruptcy, it is important to understand and utilize these laws that protect you from the harassment of a collections agency. Allow a skilled Arizona bankruptcy lawyer to handle your case and debt collectors today.