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					                    Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

Collection agencies cannot:
   • make more than one call during a seven day period – two calls during this period
       is considered excessive;
   • continue to harass a consumer after being notified in writing to cease, or if they
       have been advised that the consumer is represented by an attorney;
   • call the consumer before 8:00am or after 9:00pm in the consumer’s time zone;
   • use profane, obscene or abusive language;
   • threaten a consumer or family member in a physical or illegal manner;
   • threaten to take action that cannot legally be taken;
   • imply that the consumer may be arrested if they do not pay the debt;
   • threaten to seize, garnish, attach or sell a consumer’s property or wages unless
       they intend to do so;
   • imply that physical damage to the consumer’s property will occur;
   • make calls without identifying themselves;
   • misrepresent themselves or use a false name;
   • misrepresent themselves as a government agency, a law practice or an employee
       of the credit bureau;
   • require the consumer to accept collect calls or pay for telegrams;
   • falsely represent the character, amount and legal status of the debt;
   • collect any money greater than the actual debt, unless allowed by law;
   • contact the consumer at work if employer prohibits such contact;
   • contact the consumer by mail with reference to “…debt” on the envelope;
   • contact the consumer by postcard;
   • deposit a post-dated check before date on the check;
   • misrepresent the involvement of an attorney in collecting the debt;
   • advise anyone other that the consumer that the debt is owed;
   • give false or misleading information about the debt to others;
   • publish a list of consumers who refuse to pay debts, except for credit- reporting
       bureau such as Trans Union, Equifax, or Experian.
Collection agencies must:
   • identify themselves and their employer and explain the purpose of the call;
   • validate the debt within five days of the first communication with the consumer;
   • adhere to agreed upon contact methods including mail, and telephone calls;
   • use normal conversation and tone to explain to the consumer the consequences of
       not meeting the debt obligations;
   • apply payment in accordance with the consumers instructions;
   • not apply payment to any disputed accounts;
   • report the consumer’s account to a qualified credit-reporting bureau only.

                                          	
  
www.newyorkdebtlawyer.com Law Office of Robert Jacovetti, P.C., Rockville Centre, New York
                       Telephone 888-992-8178 or 516-992-8178
                             Fair Credit Billing Act

The disputes covered arise from billing errors such as:
    • unauthorized charges - Federal law limits your responsibility for unauthorized
        charges to $50;
    • charges that list the wrong date or amount;
    • charges for goods and services you didn't accept or weren't delivered as agreed;
    • math errors;
    • failure to post payments and other credits, such as returns;
    • failure to send bills to your current address - provided the creditor receives your
        change of address, in writing, at least 20 days before the billing period ends;
    • charges for which you ask for an explanation or written proof of purchase along
        with a claimed error or request for clarification.
To take advantage of the protection this law, the consumer must:
    • write to the creditor at the address given for "billing inquiries," and include their
        name, address, account number and a description of the billing error;
    • send the letter so that it reaches the creditor within 60 days after the first bill
        containing the error was mailed to the consumer;
    • send the letter by certified mail, return receipt requested, so that the consumer has
        proof of what the creditor received. Include copies - not originals - of sales slips
        or other documents that support the consumer’s position. Keep a copy of the
        dispute letter;
    • receive acknowledgement by the creditor of the complaint in writing within 30
        days after receiving it, unless the problem has been resolved; the creditor must
        resolve the dispute within two billing cycles (but not more than 90 days) after
        receiving your letter;
    • withhold payment on the disputed amount and related charges during the
        investigation;
    • not be subjected to legal or other action by the creditor to collect the disputed
        amount and related charges during the investigation;
    • not be threaten with a negative credit rating or report that the account is
        delinquent, by a creditor while the account is in dispute. The creditor may report
        that you are challenging your bill.
If the bill contains an error:
    • the creditor must explain in writing the corrections that will be made to the
        consumer’s account, credit the account, remove all finance charges, late fees or
        other charges related to the billing error;
    • but the creditor determines that the consumer owes a portion of the disputed
        amount, the consumer should request a written explanation, as well as copies of
        the documents proving the amount is owed.




                                          	
  
www.newyorkdebtlawyer.com Law Office of Robert Jacovetti, P.C., Rockville Centre, New York
                       Telephone 888-992-8178 or 516-992-8178
                          Fair Credit Reporting Act
The three national credit reporting agencies (CRA’s) are:
    • Equifax – www.equifax.com - 800-685-1111;
    • Experian – www.experian.com - 888-397-3742;
    • TransUnion – www.transunion.com - 800-916-8800.
Things to know:
    • the consumer has a right to know what’s in the report, including medical
        information, the sources of the information, all requests of the report during the
        last year, or last two years for employment related requests;
    • there is no charge for a report if a company takes adverse action against a
        consumer, such as denying a credit application, insurance, or employment, and
        the report is requested within sixty (60) days of receiving the notice of action;
    • the consumer is entitled to one free report per year if (1) they’re unemployed and
        plan to look for a job within sixty (60) days, (2) they’re on welfare, or (3) the
        report is inaccurate because of fraud;
    • a CRA can provide information about a consumer to an employer only with the
        consumer’s consent;
    • a CRA can only provide medical information about a consumer to creditors,
        employers or insures, only with the consumer’s consent;
    • a CRA can retain negative information in the report for seven years.
If your report contains inaccurate or incomplete information:
    • the CRA and the information provider are responsible for correcting inaccurate or
        incomplete information contained in the report;
    • contact the CRA in writing describing the information believed to be inaccurate or
        incomplete – the CRA must investigate the matter usually within thirty (30) days;
    • the CRA must forward the information about the dispute to the information
        provider;
    • the information provider must investigate and review all relevant material
        provided by the CRA and report the results to the CRA;
    • if the information provider finds the disputed information to be inaccurate or
        incomplete, it must correct the inaccurate or incomplete information and notify all
        national credit reporting agencies to correct the information as well.
If the CRA or information provider won’t correct the information:
    • ask the CRA to include a statement of the dispute in both the file and future
        reports;
    • notify the information provider about the dispute - they must then include a notice
        of the dispute anytime that information provider reports the item to a CRA;
    • seek legal assistance.




                                          	
  
www.newyorkdebtlawyer.com Law Office of Robert Jacovetti, P.C., Rockville Centre, New York
                       Telephone 888-992-8178 or 516-992-8178
                             Truth in Lending Act

The law, as applied to consumers, has been implemented by the Federal Reserve
Board through Regulation Z, which applies when:
   • credit is offered to consumers;
   • credit is offered on a regular basis;
   • credit is subject to a finance charge, or must be paid in more than four
       installments according to a written agreement;
   • credit is primarily for personal, family or household purposes.
Regulation Z requires that disclosure be made of the following important credit
terms:
   • finance charges – the amount charged to the consumer for credit;
   • annual percentage rate – the measure of the cost of the credit which must be
       disclosed on a yearly basis, the method for calculating this rate is determined the
       underlying transaction;
   • amount financed - the amount that is being borrowed in a consumer loan
       transaction, or the amount of the sale price in a credit sale;
   • total of payments – this includes the total amount of the periodic payments by the
       consumer;
   • evidence of compliance with this regulation must be retained for at least two years
       after disclosure, and disclosures must be clear and conspicuous and appear on a
       document the consumer may keep.
Other important requirements:
   • consumer has the right to rescind certain transactions within in a short period of
       time;
   • a creditor who violates the disclosure requirements may be sued for twice the
       amount of the finance charge;
   • a consumer must initiate an cause of action within one year of the violation, but if
       a creditor initiates an action against a consumer after one year, the consumer may
       assert a violation of this law as a defense.




                                          	
  
www.newyorkdebtlawyer.com Law Office of Robert Jacovetti, P.C., Rockville Centre, New York
                       Telephone 888-992-8178 or 516-992-8178

				
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