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CFPB warns of consumer debt scams from fake bill collectors, P. 2

The last entry on this blog focused on a recent warning to Americans from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau about a recent wave of debt collection scams that have harmed consumers. The CFPB regulates the financial services industry to protect consumers. Many laws exist to protect consumers from unfair debt collection practices and federal law provides consumers with remedies, including protection and debt relief under the Bankruptcy Code.

Not all bill collectors are involved in a scam. Many efforts at debt collection may be valid, but consumers should be wary of potential scams.

Ohio residents who owe valid debts, but cannot afford to continue to service overwhelming debt may be able to find a legal method in obtaining debt relief, from negotiating with individual creditors, seeking loan modification to filing for bankruptcy, to name a few methods. For Cincinnati area residents struggling with unwieldy debt loads, a bankruptcy lawyer can provide advice and assistance in filing for bankruptcy protection.

Consumers in Ohio should be aware that debt collection practices are regulated. Generally, a bill collector may contact a person who owes a debt though many different means. Bill collectors may call, use email, send letters in the mail and even contact a debtor in person over a valid debt.

But bill collectors may not contact a debtor so often as to rise to the level of harassment. Limits are placed on bill collectors as to what is a reasonable contact, such as restrictions on calls placed before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 in the evening.

Monday, the discussion about consumer protection in the debt collection industry concludes

Source: Examiner, "Fake debt collection scams on the rise," William Lewis, Dec. 28, 2012

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