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§7.07 Debt Collection—Prohibited Practices

Lesson 7:
& Warranties

A debt collector may not collect or attempt to collect debts by:

  • Using or threatening to use force, violence, criminal means, or any criminal means to cause harm to the person or to the reputation or property of any person. [CC §1788.10(a).]
  • Using other forms of improper threats, such as a false accusation of a crime, defamatory communications, or a false threat of arrest. [CC §1788.10(b)–(f).]
  • Using obscene or profane language or unreasonable or harassing telephone practices. [CC §1788.11.]
  • Communicating information about the debtor to others except in certain specified situations. [CC §1788.12.]
  • Making false representations of any kind. [CC §1788.13.]
  • Using deceptive means to obtain an affirmation of debt that was discharged in bankruptcy, attempting illegally to collect a collector’s fee, or communicating with the debtor when he or she is represented by an attorney. [CC §1788.14.]
  • Using judicial proceedings when the debt collector knows that service of process has not been legally effected or when brought in an improper venue. [CC §1788.15.]
  • Sending a communication that falsely simulates legal or judicial process. [CC §1788.16.]
  • Contacting debtors between 9:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. or harassing debtors with threats of arrest. [See CC §1812.700(a).]

In addition, a debt collector must notify debtors of certain proscribed collector practices such as threatening violence or contacting debtors at night. This notice must be included with the first written collection notice received by the debtor. [CC §1812.700(a)–(b).]

A debt collector must cease all collection activities on receiving specified documents indicating that the debtor has been a victim of identity theft. The documents include a copy of the police report and a written statement by the debtor that the specific debt being collected is a result of identity theft. [CC §1788.18(a).] The debt collector may resume debt collection activities only on making a good faith determination that the information supplied does not establish that the debtor is free from responsibility for the debt. [CC §1788.18(d).] If a debt collector stops collection activities, it must notify any consumer reporting agency to delete any adverse information that the debt collector forwarded. [CC §1788.18(g)(1).]

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