Having people owe you money is never a good situation to be in. Unfortunately, businesses and lenders face this situation all the time.
As you work to collect the money you are owed, you must ensure you aren’t breaking any rules. The Federal Trade Commission has outlined several things you can (and can’t) do when collecting a debt from a consumer. Failing to follow these rules can lead to consequences and costs for you.
Methods and times of communication and contact
You must contact debtors in the proper ways. The approved means of communication include:
- Sending letters (snail mail)
- Sending emails
- Sending text messages
- Making phone calls
However, if you choose to text or call a debtor, you can only do so after 8 AM and before 9 PM. The only exception to this rule is if the debtor has agreed to speak to you or receive a call or text beyond these time constraints.
Avoid threatening, harassing or lying to debtors
It can be frustrating not to collect the money you are owed. However, as frustrating as it is, you must always ensure that you never threaten, harass or lie to a debtor.
You can’t use abusive language or call repeatedly. Additionally, you can’t make false claims to try and “scare” a debtor into paying, such as claiming the person will be arrested.
Protecting your rights to collect the debt you are owed
Being owed money isn’t a pleasant position to be in. However, if you want to protect your rights and avoid legal penalties and consequences, make sure you follow the rules when trying to collect. You do have legal rights and options and learning what those are may help you collect the money you are owed.