When a Creditor is Collecting a Debt

Creditors may contact you directly about a debt you owe them.   For example, your credit card company may call you to remind you that you have not been making the minimum payments necessary to keep your account from defaulting. Generally, federal consumer protection laws regarding fair debt collection do not apply in these situations, but the creditors are still required to comply with New York State law governing debt collection.

The New York State Debt Collection Procedures Law prohibits creditors (and their agents) from:

  • communicating the nature of your debt to your employer prior to obtaining a judgment against you;
  • threatening to take an action that it can not or would not normally undertake;
  • threatening to collect a fee over and above the debt that you owe;
  • communicating with you in a manner which simulates a judicial process or which gives the appearance of being authorized or issued by a governmental entity; and
  • contacting you or a family member with such frequency or at such unusual hours as can be reasonably considered abusing or harassing you.