When people are facing debt for almost any reason, it is important that they understand the tactics that may and may not be used by collection companies, and they need to know what legal rights those collectors have in Pennsylvania. This is something that often comes to light if someone has a lot of credit card debt that has not been paid off in a timely manner.
First of all, people need to know that the agency that has been set up to protect consumers is known as the Federal Trade Commission. It is the FTC's job to work to make sure that the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act -- typically called the FDCPA -- is enforced.
Under this act, it is not legal for debt collectors to turn to abusive practices in an effort to get the money that is owed. They are also not allowed to engage in any tactics that are considered to be deceptive or unfair. If these things are done, it is possible for the FTC to take action, which is why all consumers who feel this may have been done need to know about their legal rights.
For example, rules are laid out in the act for when debt collectors are allowed to get in touch with those who have debt. They cannot do it when those people are at work and have asked not be contacted at work, or at times that are considered inconvenient, such as very early in the morning or late at night. The only exception to this is if they have been given direct permission to call.
The act also just defines exactly what a debt collector is so that there is no confusion. Collection agencies fall under this umbrella term, for example, as do any companies that may it common practice to buy up debt from others -- such as credit card companies -- and then collect what is owed.
Source: Federal Trade Commission, "Debt Collection" Aug. 01, 2014