Legal Words of Wisdom: Debt Collection

Rodney Warner, Esq
Legal Clinic for the Disabled, Inc.
Last Modified: January 6, 2009

Even in the best of times, a cancer patient may have bills stacking up. With the economy slowing down and unemployment worsening, unpaid bills are becoming a more common problem. Bill collectors may call, but there are legal limits as to what they should do or say. Under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, debtors should not be contacted before 8:00 am or after 9:00 pm. The collector may not tell anyone other than the debtor, and his/her attorney, that the debtor owes them money. The collector may not use threats, use profane or obscene language, make false statements or repeatedly use the telephone to annoy someone. If the collector is told in writing to stop contacting the debtor, it should stop (but the debt will continue).

Learn more about the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and how to report problems with debt collectors at the Federal Trade Commission’s website.


Click on any of these terms for more related articles


Today I'm thankful for...Health Insurance
by Christina Bach, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C
November 25, 2014

Breaking news: Supreme Court votes to uphold Affordable Care Act Subsidies
by Christina Bach, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C
June 26, 2015

Related News

Financial Hardship Common Among Colon Cancer Patients

Mar 14, 2012

Even among those who have health insurance, financial hardship affects nearly 40 percent

ASCO: Cancer Patients Want to Talk About Costs With Docs

May 31, 2013

Financial distress is common, even in the insured, but patients rarely discuss costs of care with docs

IOM: Raise Legal Age to 21 for Tobacco Purchase

Mar 13, 2015

Such a move would save thousands of lives and lower number of smokers, says Institute of Medicine

From the National Cancer Institute