Abusive debt collection practices can contribute to personal bankruptcies,
employment and marital instability, invasion of privacy, mental anguish and emotional distress. Even in times of
economic prosperity, it may be difficult to meet certain financial obligations due to a sudden loss of income,
coping with a catastrophic injury, or other adverse situations. Maryland is one of the few states with laws to
curb unfair and abusive debt collections practices.
Maryland Consumer Debt Collection Act ("the Act")
provides recourse to Maryland consumers whose rights under
the Act have been violated. Please be advised that the
Act does not apply to any commercial transaction or transactions
entered to carry on a business interest. Also, the collection
of certain obligations owed to a state or the federal
government may preempt the law. Under the Act a collector
who violates any provision of the Maryland law is liable
for damages proximately caused by the violation, including
damages for emotional distress or mental anguish suffered
with or without accompanying injury.
*The Federal Trade Commission
(FTC) also enforces consumer rights in the Fair
Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which describe
those activities collection agency are prohibited from
practicing. For violations of the FDCPA please visit the
FTC website or contact
the agency at 800-382-4357.
The following suggestions may be helpful when discussing the repayment of a delinquent debt with your creditor:
- Maintain contact with your creditors and advise them of your situation and intentions.
- Avoid making false promises for payment of the debt(s).
- Attempt to discuss the problem with management if you are unable to communicate with collectors assigned to your account.
- Make all written communications to the creditor by certified mail, especially if you are prohibited from receiving calls at your place of employment.
To file a complaint against a collection agency
Protecting Yourself Against Credit Harassment pamphlet