You deserve to know your options when facing debt collector harassment. Under law, harassing behavior by a debt collector is illegal. You can take action to protect yourself, your assets and your loved ones.
But how do you identify debt collector harassment in the first place?
The use of harassment by debt collectors
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau defines harassment by a debt collector. You can find it defined by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which got introduced as a means of protecting those in debt from aggressive, unfair collecting practices.
Under FDCPA, all harassment, abuse or oppression falls under “debt collector harassment”. Common examples include:
- Accosting you with obscene or profane language
- Making threats of violence also counts
- Calling you repeatedly with the specific intent to abuse or annoy you
- Refusing to identify themselves when they call is also harassing behavior
Misrepresentation by debt collectors
The FDCPA also protects you from misrepresentation. For example, a debt collector may pretend to be an attorney when they are not. They may threaten you with arrest when that is not a viable legal option for them. They could threaten to do things that legally cannot happen. They could threaten things they have no intent on following through with, even if they are legal. Any of these instances are misrepresentations.
One of the ways you can stop debt collector harassment is by filing for bankruptcy. This puts an immediate order out for all collection efforts to cease. You can also sue a debt collector for violations of the FDCPA. If you win the case, the court may order them to pay damages.