Illegal Bill Collection Activities

AIDS Legal Services Project

There are state and federal laws that protect consumers against overly aggressive collection efforts.

Bill collectors cannot:

  1. Use obscene or profane language;
  2. Threaten to harm the debtor or the debtor's friends or relatives;
  3. Threaten to publish or actually publish the debtor's name outside credit reports as a person who doesn't pay bills;
  4. Claim to be a law enforcement or other government official;
  5. Send the debtor papers that look like court or government documents;
  6. Repeatedly use the telephone to annoy the debtor and can only call between the hours of 8:00 am and 9:00 pm;
  7. Contact the debtor's employer for any reason other than to verify employment or to arrange a wage attachment;
  8. Threaten to get the debtor's public benefits cut off;
  9. Call the debtor at work if the employer says not to;
  10. Falsely state that the debtor has committed a crime;
  11. Threaten to take the debtor's property unless they have received a court judgment;
  12. Falsely say they are attorneys or use lawyers' stationery; or
  13. Claim they will increase the debt when they have no intention of adding on attorney's fees, or finance charges.

Disclaimer- The content here on this website is informational only and is not an exhaustive review of consumer debt issues nor is it intended to be legal advice. The intent is to provide you with general information to better understand your situation and the tools available to take action if needed. This website contains links to other third-party websites. Such links are only for your convenience; we do not recommend or endorse the contents of the third-party sites. You should contact an attorney to obtain advice with respect to your particular legal matter. Use of, and access to, this website or any of the links or resources contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between you and LACBA Counsel for Justice, its employees or volunteers.

THE CONTENT FOUND HERE WAS CURRENT AT THE TIME OF WRITING (MAY 2020). LAWS AND LEGAL PROCEDURES ARE SUBJECT TO FREQUENT CHANGE AND DIFFERING INTERPRETATIONS. YOU SHOULD SEEK THE COUNSEL OF AN ATTORNEY TO RECEIVE LEGAL ADVICE SPECIFIC TO YOUR SITUATION.