Federal and state laws protect consumers from deceptive, abusive, or unfair debt collection tactics. Among other things, debt collectors are obligated to truthfully identify themselves when they communicate with you in writing or over the phone. This requirement is important because many debt collectors pretend to be attorneys or government agencies to trick or frighten people into paying. Debt collectors also cannot make any other false statements in their communications with consumers.
As recently confirmed by the Federal Trade Commission, the requirement that debt collectors must be truthful applies not only to letters and phone calls, but also to text messages. The Federal Trade Commission gave the following text message as an example of an illegal communication:
ALERT! YOUR PAYMENT FOR $$ IS SCHEDULED FOR 6/19/15 CALL XXX-XXX-XXXX
This text violated the law because it does not identify that it is from a debt collector and because it was sent to a consumer who never had any payment arrangements scheduled.
A debt collector that engages in illegal conduct may be liable for damages. If you believe that a debt collector has violated the law, contact a debt collection attorney to learn more about your rights.