Debt Collectors and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

Whether due to unexpected or personal circumstances, individuals can become overwhelmed with debt they can no longer handle. Understandably, creditors have a right to claim any money they are owed. These creditors can resort to unethical or illegal behavior when seeking repayment. As a result, individuals subject to harassment may incur additional emotional pressure on top of the stress associated with being unable to pay off their debts. Fortunately, legal measures such as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) protects individuals from creditors who resort to harassment in an attempt to collect what they are owed. According to the FDCPA, debt collectors are required to send all information in writing regarding any claims they make against an individual within five days of initial contact.

The FDCPA also gives individuals the right to dispute any claims against them by submitting a written letter to the creditor. However, though intended to protect debtors, the FDCPA gives creditors the right to renew a claim if they submit proof of the debt. Seeking payment over the phone is a common practice by many creditors. However, the FDCPA  places restrictions on debt collectors regarding what they can say or do over the phone. Some of these restrictions include using abusive or obscene language, harassing with repeated calls, calling between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. or at work without a debtor’s permission, discussing debts with others apart from an attorney, making false threats, claiming to be an attorney or law enforcement official, and misrepresenting the amount owed.

It is recommended that individuals keep records of all conversations and voicemails as well as a record of the day and time collectors call, the name of the agency, and the amount they state one owes.

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Filing for Workers’ Compensation

According to the website of the LaMarca Law Group, P.C., workers’ compensation is a form of insurance employers are required to purchase in order to pay for the health and rehabilitation expenses as well as any lost wages of employees who are injured on the job. It is important to note that once an employee files for workers’ compensation they give up all rights to sue or take any form of legal action against their employer.

In order to file a claim, an injured employee must first notify their employer of their injury. Depending on the state in which one is employed, the time frame to notify an employer ranges anywhere from a couple of days to two years. It is recommended that one includes the date, time, and location of the injury. It can also be extremely helpful to include a detailed description of how the injury occurred and, if applicable or possible, a list of witnesses.

Once an employer has been notified, one should immediately file a formal workers’ compensation claim. Failure to do so in a timely manner can lead to an insurance carrier denying your claim. If one has suffered an injury or illness that developed over time, the time frame to file a complaint begins as soon as they are forced to take time off of work due to an injury or to see a doctor for a work-related injury as well as when one knows or suspects that the injury was work-related.

Unfortunately, as stated on the website of Ravid & Assoc, often times it can be difficult to actually receive workers’ compensation benefits that employees are entitled. Sadly, too many employers attempt to minimize workers’ compensation rates by disputing employees’ rights to coverage. However, proper and complete documentation of the injury and related treatment can help protect an employee against such disputes.

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