One of the best ways to ensure you are a trustworthy short term lender or debt collector is by having good standing with the Better Business Bureau, adhering to the laws mandated by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and avoiding tactics that may mirror scams.
According to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a debt collector is not allowed to continuously call a person with the intent to collect funds by annoying, harassing or abusing them. Additionally, posing threats or acting as a governmental agency is illegal. The FDCPA prohibits "the false representation or implication that the debt collector is vouched for, bonded by, or affiliated with the United States or any State, including the use of any badge, uniform, or facsimile thereof," the act states. Recently, the BBB has received an increasing amount of complaints regarding fake debt collectors. "The complaints that we've received say that people keep calling me, these fake collectors keep calling time and time again, constantly using this harassing approach," Claire Rosenzweig of the BBB, said in a statement. "They might have your social security number, they might have your address, and they’re telling you that you owe money, and if you don’t pay what you owe, they will have you arrested, they will come and harass you." Consumers who receive such calls can place a fraud report on their bank accounts, which block any transfer requests from an unknown or suspicious company. Debt collection agencies must follow the rules of the FDCPA so they aren't falsely tagged as a scam. Regardless if a debt collector or skip tracer works for a legitimate and reputable agency, if an individual feels harassed, they may file a claim. A debt collector can only call between the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. Debtors are allowed to authorize communication responsibilities to a third party. If either the debtor or third party informs the debt collector that they want to discontinue communication or stop payment, the debt collector can no longer pursue communications with the debtor. However, the debt collector can provide one final statement to the debtor informing them that communication is being terminated or to inform the debtor that certain "remedies" are being invoked, according to the FDCPA. Following the FDCPA and maintaining business etiquette will assure your debt collection agency remains reputable and fair.