Columbia, Maryland (PressExposure) March 21, 2009 -- Representatives from the National Financial Awareness Network, a Maryland-based personal finance publishing company, are urging consumers to become familiar with debt collection laws in response to the most recent FTC report that complaints against debt collectors calling consumers at their workplace nearly doubled from 2007 and 2008.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, prohibits third-party debt collectors from contacting consumers at their place of employment "if the collector knows or has reason to know that the consumer's employer prohibits such contacts." The reasoning for this rule is that such calls could jeopardize the consumer's job. Despite this rule, The FTC received 8,092 complaints from consumers receiving calls at work in 2008, which is nearly double the number of such complaints in 2007.
"With unemployment on the rise, calls to people's workplace can be exceptionally unnerving," said John Janney, President of NFAN. "Fortunately, the FTC is proposing amendments to strengthen the FDCPA that should help discourage violations."
In their February 2009 workshop report, "Collecting Consumer Debt, The Challenge of Change," the FTC suggested an increase of the statutory damages from $1,000 per violation to $3,600 to adjust for inflation between 1977 and 2008. Such measures may help deter violations and provide relief for victims of abusive debt collection practices.
"Delinquencies are rising with financial hardship and consumers need more protection than what is currently available," said Maggie Beetz, Senior Financial Literacy Writer at NFAN. "The last thing consumers need is to be harassed at work."
Consumers can learn more about the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act at HelpForDebtors.com.
The National Financial Awareness Network is a Maryland-based personal finance publishing company that offers educational products and services, such as the popular Do-It-Yourself Debt Settlement Kit (http://www.diydebtsettlementkit.com/), Debt Relief University ([http://www.debtreliefuniversity.com/]), Help For Debtors online support forum and their How to Get Great Credit e-book. For more information, please visit the NFAN website at http://www.nfan.com/.