Worried about your credit card debt? Read the fine print of your Capital One credit card rules and you might be. For instance, according to their rules, they are allowed to contact you by mail, phone, email or by personal visit. That’s right, if you are delinquent on your credit card bill Capital One has stated they can visit you. But according to a new report by The Los Angeles Times, Capital one has told their customers a personal visit is very rare.
According to Capital One, “Capital One does not visit our cardholders, nor do we send debt collectors to their homes or work.” The statement was issued after The L.A. Times article surfaced and customers started commenting on social media websites.
Capital One noted that the statement is similar to other statements made by businesses who sell products or who issue secured loans. Personal visits, according to Capital One, are always the last resort to get payments after other efforts have been made. Now Capital One is suggesting that personal visits may not apply to all customers, such as the “general cardholder base.”
What do customers say about Capital One?
Despite the back tracking, social media lit up with a few choice words from angry customers. Some threatened to find a new bank if they visited him while others tweeted their intent to respond violently.
But even if they don’t make a personal visit it’s not uncommon for creditors to creatively find ways to collect overdue payments. For instance, according to The LA Times column, cardholder rules allow Capital One to “modify or suppress caller ID and similar services and identify ourselves on these services in any manner we choose.”
Although Capital One responded to this statement by clarifying that they have programmed their phone calls to display as Capital One on Caller ID. There may, however, be some disconnect at local phone exchanges where Capital One suggests the numbers could be displayed in other ways that they consider “beyond our control.”
What can I do about debt collection?
The good news is as a debtor you do have protection against certain creditor actions through the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which limits where and when debt collectors can contact those who owe them money.
For instance, the FDCPA prohibits debt collectors from contacting debtors at inconvenient places. Although this is somewhat vague, an argument can be made not to contact you at work if you are a school teacher, doctor, nurse, food server or funeral home worker. You are also allowed to notify the collector that you are not able to take calls at work. For instance, if your employer has a policy that you cannot take nonemergency calls for personal business.
In some cases, however, the debt collector may still be allowed to make contact if the court has allowed such communications or you have given your consent.
What other protections do you have under FDCPA?
- Collectors cannot call repeatedly or continuously.
- They may not use obscene or profane language.
- They cannot call before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m.
- They cannot call at inconvenient times.
- They cannot threaten violence.
- They cannot threaten any actions they do not intend to take or they are not legally allowed to take.
- They cannot illegal inform a third party about your debts.
- They cannot repeatedly call a third party to get your location.
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