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California Debt Collection Practices Mirror Federal Guidelines

By Michele Moncrieffe

From the coast of New York to the shores of California, debt collection practices on the state level fall in line with the federal mandates for debt collection. Even though there are certain requirements to go about debt collection, people are still wary of trusting debt collection agents. Some people hear horror stories and deduce that all collection companies are of ill-repute. All three types of collections companies have guidelines to follow.

There is state and federal legislation that dictates how debt collection agents must conduct themselves while attempting to recover a client's debt. Those who owe money to a creditor can easily access these regulations online. Even if you do not owe a debt, it is still beneficial for you to acquire some knowledge on fair and unjust debt collection practices. The United States Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is readily available on the government's website. Legal and illegal California debt collection behaviors, as well as most other states, are available online, too.

First-party debt collection agencies are subsidiaries of the original creditor. Generally, these companies are not beholden to the same legislative regulations that third-party collections companies are subject to. Because first-party collection agents represent the creditor they endeavor to facilitate a respectful and satisfactory recovery process for the creditor as well as the debtor. They want the debtor to continue doing business with their parent company, or at least they don't want to give the companies involved a bad reputation. It is in everyone's best interest if the collection agents are professional and courteous.

From New York to Cali, a California collection agency uses just and unjust practices at the state level mirror the practices at the federal level. However, third-party companies know as debt-buyers do not adhere to the laws. Debt-buyers purchase existing debt from companies, and then attempt to recover the debt on their own. They do not have connections to the original creditor, so they have little incentive to be professional or courteous when trying to obtain money from debtors. Reputable third-party companies are usually contacted by the initial creditor and asked to recover the debt for them. In return, the agency is paid a percentage of the recovered debt. These companies endeavor to see that both parties feel respected and comfortable throughout the recovery process.

It falls on the debtor to educate himself on his rights. All the information is readily accessible. Most collections agencies are reputable and upstanding when it comes to collection practices. If you encounter a bully of a collection agent, then you have the law on your side. Don't put up with it, take action. Just please don't assume that all debt collection companies operate on the same level.

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