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Frequently Asked Questions - Debt Collection

I am having a problem with a debt collector. I would like to know what my rights are. Who should I contact for assistance?

The Maine Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection licenses and regulates debt collection agencies in the State of Maine. You may visit its web site or call them toll-free at 1-800-332-8529. A publication (free to Maine Residents, $1.50 all others) entitled "Downeaster Guide to Debt Collection and Repossession" is available from the Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection.

If a bank or credit union is collecting a debt on its own behalf, it is not considered a debt collector. Please contact the Bureau of Financial Institutions with any collection questions you may have involving a financial institution

I have been getting collection calls on a joint credit card that is, according to the divorce decree, now the sole responsibility of my ex-spouse. Can they legally contact me and try to collect this debt?

Yes, they can contact you to collect the debt. Unless you were released by the bank or credit union contractually you are still a party to the debt and the bank or credit union may continue to hold you responsible. The original loan agreement takes precedent over the divorce decree. The same is true for other jointly held credit such as car loans, mortgages, personal loans, etc.

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Last Updated: March 24, 2014