When an individual’s finances begin spiraling out of control, one of the most recognizable stressors is the unending efforts of debt collectors. Whether they are sending letters, calling or firing off emails, these debt collectors will often harass debtors while attempting to recover payments. Fortunately, there are protections in place for consumers facing these types of activities.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) specifies numerous rules that a debt collector must follow. However, despite being unpleasant, most debt collectors stick to these acceptable collection regulations. Unfortunately, this is not true for all of them every time, though.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau examines debt collector harassment under the FDCPA. In addition to other policies, this act bans both misrepresentations and harassment. Misrepresentations cover any situation in which a debt collector uses false means to follow up on their collection. For example, they cannot pretend to be attorneys. They cannot make false threats about your arrest. They cannot make threats they have no means to fulfill, nor can they threaten you if they have no intention of following through. They also cannot misrepresent the size of your debt.
As for harassment, any behavior that abuses, annoys or oppresses you could fall under this category. First of all, they cannot use profane or obscene language against you. They cannot make threats of harm or violence. They cannot call you without identifying themselves. Related to that, they cannot use phone calls as a way to intimidate or scare you. This means no calling repeatedly or at all hours of the day and night. Finally, they cannot publicly publish your information in an attempt to shame you for debt.
If you experienced any of these things, you have gone through debt collector harassment. You may want to discuss your next move with a legal expert.