Protecting the Rights of Consumers For Over 25 Years

Debt Collection Rights Attorneys in Chicago

Protecting You from Debt Collector Abuse

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act provides rules that debt collectors must follow when attempting to collect a debt. Even if you have no actual injuries resulting from a debt collector’s abusive conduct, the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act allows you to recover up to $1000 in damages if those rules are violated. Depending on the situation, you may also be able to obtain compensation for actual injuries.


A debt collector cannot legally contact you once you have advised them that you have retained an attorney.


If you have experienced abusive behavior by a debt collector or faced debt collection harassment, consult with the Chicago debt collection attorneys at Edelman Combs Latturner & Goodwin, LLC. Our lawyers have successfully sued dozens of collection agencies to stop debt collection abuse and have obtained monetary damages for many of our clients.

Schedule a free consultation with our team today. Contact us online or by phone at (312) 626-3585.

Who Is a Debt Collector?

A debt collector is somebody who is in the business of trying to collect a debt for another party or somebody whose principal business collecting delinquent debt.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act does not apply to companies or individuals trying to collect on a debt owed directly to them unless they pretend to be a third party or are in the principal business of purchasing or collecting defaulted debts.

Debt Collections

Unless you pay the debt, a debt collector is required to send you a written notice of your rights within five days of their first contact.

Debt collectors cannot contact you if you ask them in writing or inform them that you refuse to pay. If you really do owe the debt and have no defense, asking them to stop contacting you might result in them filing a lawsuit to collect the debt. They may also report the debt to the credit bureaus if they had not already done so.

You have the right to ask the debt collector for more information about a particular debt. We suggest that you send a certified letter or fax the request so that you have proof of receipt.

Time & Place of Collection Calls

A debt collector cannot contact you at inconvenient times or inconvenient places. The law presumes that calls between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. local time are convenient. You will need to inform them if you want them to call at other times or communicate only in writing.

Debt collectors cannot contact you at work if they know that your employer does not permit it. If you are not allowed to take calls at work, or if you do not want them to contact you at work, tell them not to call you at your work number.

A debt collector is also not allowed to make robocalls to a cell phone unless you have provided the number to the collector or creditor and must stop calling your cell phone, if you ask them to stop making the calls.

Harassing or Misleading Conduct

There are many laws regarding what debt collectors cannot do when they contact you to seek debt collections.

Debt collectors cannot:

  • Make false, deceptive or misleading statements
  • Contact you without identifying the company calling
  • Place repetitive and harassing phone calls
  • Threaten you with violence or harm to your person, reputation or property
  • Tell or threaten to tell other people (your employer, neighbors, credit references or friends) that you owe a debt
  • Use foul or abusive language or call you names
  • Accept a postdated check and cash it prior to its date

Far too often, debt collectors use deceitful practices to intimidate and trick borrowers. It is not uncommon to see debt collectors take advantage of people through lies and threats.

Common misrepresentations made by debt collectors include:

  • Inflating the amount of the debt
  • Stating that you must make immediate payment to avoid being sued
  • Using false names or pretending to be an attorney, police officer, investigator, or similar official
  • Threatening you with false claims of arrest, imprisonment, or prosecution for a crime
  • Misrepresentations or failure to provide you with information about your rights
  • Attempting to collect old debts that are no longer legally enforceable through misleading collection letters and settlement offers

If you are the victim of debt collection abuse, be sure to save copies of all letters to and from the debt collector. Take notes about each incident, including the date, time, and name of the collector. If they have not identified themselves, write down their phone number. You should also save any abusive messages left on your answering machine or voicemail (Illinois does not permit you to tape calls unless you inform the other party.)

Above all, be sure to consult with a Chicago consumer protection attorney who can help protect your rights and end debt collector abuse against you. At Edelman Combs Latturner & Goodwin, LLC, we have provided countless clients with the resources and representation they need to stop the abuse and find peace of mind.

We review collection letters and other communications from debt collectors without charge.

Reach out to our team today – we offer free consultations. Call (312) 626-3585. Se habla español.

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