Alabama law provides very few consumer protections against illegal debt collections. Unlike states like Florida that have their own fair debt collection statutes, Alabama has no specific statute that declares certain debt collection activities illegal. That does not mean that Alabama citizens are utterly without protection against unfair debt collection practices – federal laws like the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act cover the entire United States, and provides important rights to people who are facing collection harassment. But it does mean that you (and your attorney) will have to be diligent in preparing your strategy for dealing with bad debt collectors.
All that said, Alabama does have some useful law. Harassing communications is a criminal offense, and is committed when one Telephones another person and addresses to or about such other person any lewd or obscene words or language.” Ala. Code Sec. 13A-11-8(b). The fact that it is a crime does not mean that you can get the local DA to prosecute the collectors who are calling you, but it does mean that conduct that violates the criminal code can usually be used against the debt collectors in a civil suit.
Alabama also has the Alabama Deceptive Trade Practices Act. It is not a very broad law, but when it applies, you can take creditors and debt collectors to court for treble damages and attorney’s fees. One of the good things about the DTPA is that it applies not only to collectors collecting on behalf of others, but to the original creditor as well. Contrast this with the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which does not apply to original extenders of credit. The downside of the Alabama DTPA is that before you can sue someone for violating it, you have to write them a letter explaining what they’ve done wrong and give them the chance to make it right. I learned this lesson the hard way once, when suing a debt collector under the DTPA, the creditor’s attorney rightly answered that count of my complaint by pointing out that I had not given them the pre-lawsuit notice. (NOTE: In that case, I still had other counts that did succeed – I always try to attack with several weapons at once, in case some fail.)