Various rules also apply to real estate, under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, in association with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
Under FDCPA guidelines - in order to avoid debt collector harassment - a debt collector is prohibited from engaging in any conduct, “the natural consequence of which is to harass, oppress or abuse any person in connection with the collection of debt,” to “use any false, deceptive or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of any debt,” or to “use any unfair or unconscionable means to collect or attempt to collect any debt.”
The FDCPA usually applies to third-party debt collectors and collection agencies - and here is where the trouble usually starts. The primary holder of debt already has a relationship with the debtor, complete with up-to-date information. More often than not, however, consumer debt is sold off to third parties - delinquent debt, especially. In the absence of a pre-existing relationship, these third-party collectors will often stoop to bill collector harassment that can be further exacerbated by incorrect information watered down with each passing of the account to a new bill collector.
Consumers are sometimes hounded for debts they no longer owe, due to incorrect information. This is fodder for debt collector harassment, and a bill collector lawsuit often follows.
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