According to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), collectors are not permitted to:

  • Harass, oppress, or abuse you.
  • Continue collection efforts after you write them to stop.
  • Contact you after representation by an attorney.
  • Threaten IRS reporting or tax consequences, if untrue.
  • Threaten a lawsuit when none is intended.
  • Call your cell phone without permission.
  • Place private, personal information that is visible through, or on, a mailing envelope.
  • Misrepresent, miscalculate, or inflate the amount of the debt.
  • Fail to disclose that they are a debt collector.
  • Contact you after 9pm or before 8am, unless you have requested that they do so.
  • Threaten legal action, or sue, on a time-barred or "stale" debt.
  • Threaten wage garnishment for most debts (Not legal in Pennsylvania).
  • Represent that they operate or work for a credit bureau.
  • Provide inaccurate or false information to the credit bureau.
  • Continue collection after filing for bankruptcy.
  • Continue collection after writing and telling them to stop.
  • Fail to report your disputed debt as disputed to the credit bureaus

If a collector violates the FDCPA, it's considered debt collection harassment and you may be able to take legal action. Contact a debt collection lawyer to review your case.