Five Consumer Protection Laws You Should Know About

1. Fair Debt Collection Practices Act This is a law that protects you from debt collectors. It does not protect you from the collection practices of the original creditor, only third party debt collectors. It is full of things that debt collectors cannot do, such as:

Calling you before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m.
Calling you at work after you tell them not to call you at work.
Calling you multiple times in one day.
Talking to other people about your debt.
Making false threats.
Disrespecting you or using profanity.
Misrepresenting the purpose of the call.

2. The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act This is the most recent consumer law to be passed. It protects you from the abusive practices of credit card companies. For instance, as long as you pay on time and pay the minimum required payment, your interest rate can’t be raised, you have to be given a 45 day notice before they can increase your fees, rate, or finance charges, double cycle billing is eliminated if you pay on time, and you can opt of any interest rate increase and pay off the bill under the original terms.

Watch out for credit card mail outs offering you a Business Card. Business cards do not carry the same protections as personal credit cards.

3. Fair Credit Billing Act This act protects you from unauthorized charges, inaccurate billing, items ordered but never received, services and goods that were not as you were promised and other disputes with merchants. Because of this law, it makes sense to pay for expensive services and goods with your credit card to obtain this protection in case you need to dispute the charges.

4. Fair Credit Reporting Act This is the law that protects your credit report and makes sure that only correct information is reported. It gives you the right to dispute inaccurate or unverifiable information, the right to get copies of your credit file, limits the time that harmful information can be reported on your credit report, and limits you can see your credit file.

5. Truth in Lending Act This law protects you from unfair lending practices. It requires full disclosure of credit terms, the interest rate and other costs of credit in plain language.

The full text of each act is available on the internet.

Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.

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