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The Divorce Encyclopedia
Debt Collection

Term Definition Debt Collection - when itís debt dues day.
Application in Divorce A sagging economy means that two occupations will flourish -- the debt collector and repo man. For the divorced, the burden of unmanageable debt, both secured and unsecured, weighs heavily in the aftermath of failed marriage. The debtor collector can be the awful ghost from Christmas past, when the memory of that European vacation that went "on the plastic" during the happier times of a marriage comes back to haunt a person already reeling in the aftermath of a divorce.

Debtors enjoy some safeguards before crossing that Rubicon of bankruptcy, which consigns them to a financial wilderness for some time.

Under the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act, creditors and their agents, the debt collectors, must treat the delinquent borrower fairly and they are prohibited from strong-arm collections. According to the Better Business Bureau, here are some of the safeguards and protections a debtor enjoys:

> Debt collectors may call no earlier than 9 a.m. nor later than 9 p.m., and may not contact people at unreasonable times and places (including work if an employer disapproves).

> In the main, collectors cannot contract friends, relatives, an employer except for purposes of location.

> Collectors are prohibited from "whisper" campaigns at collection, that is, ""[t]hey can’t tell the people they call or contact that you owe money. And collectors are generally prohibited from contacting such parties more than once."

> Collectors cannot make "false statements to you, including that you will be arrested."

> They cannot threaten a debtor with garnishment or law suit "unless the collection agency or creditor actually intends the collection agency actually intends to do so and such collection is legal."

Upon request, collectors must provide a debtor with detailed particular information about the debt within five days after first of being first contacted.

Debtors have the right to contract a collection telling it to stop. Such action does not, of course, absolve the debtor from his or her obligation.

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