Debt collectors can make your life miserable. However, the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act places limits on what they can do...

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NEW YORK — Debt collectors can make your life miserable.However, the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act places limits on what they can do to collect the money they say you owe.

According to “The Bankruptcy Handbook” by attorney John Ventura, debt collectors are barred from taking these actions:

• Repeatedly contacting you about a debt within a relatively short period of time (during one morning or afternoon) in an effort to wear you down.

• Calling you at work if you tell them that your employer doesn’t want you contacted there, or calling your employer about the money you owe, except in the case of trying to collect past-due child support from you.

• Telling your friends, relatives or neighbors that you owe a debt to embarrass you into paying it. But debt collectors can contact them to find out how to get in touch with you, although they cannot say why they want the information.