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Colorado residents: be aware of your rights with debt collectors

A little bit of decency can go a long way when Colorado residents are doing business with other individuals. Unfortunately, when it comes to some debt collection firms, this decency may be thrown out the window in favor of harsh collection tactics that intimidate and threaten individuals in debt in order to get those individuals' money.

In order to protect residents, Colorado enacted the Colorado Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. This law sets out a number of consumer protections to prevent debt collectors from engaging in abusive tactics when trying to collect on credit card debt or other debt.

The law makes it illegal for debt collectors to collect any amount, including fees and charges, unless the agreement creating the debt expressly authorized the amount, or unless the amount is otherwise permitted by law. Accordingly, debt collectors are prohibited from making consumers pay for new hidden fees that were not authorized.

The law also contains a number of provisions barring collectors from accepting checks that are postdated by more than five days unless certain conditions are met. In addition, creditors are prohibited from threatening to take nonjudicial actions to dispossess or disable a person's property under certain circumstances.

The bottom line for Colorado residents who have debt is that they have rights that must be protected. Debt collectors are prohibited from undertaking abusive actions to collect on a debt. Accordingly, individuals who have been contacted by debt collectors should understand their rights and the limits that debt collectors must follow.

Source: Colorado Attorney General, "Colorado Fair Debt Collection Practices Act," accessed on Oct. 31, 2014

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