When you are already buried beneath a pile of debt, any additional stress can seem like the end of the world. This is particularly true if your debt collectors are aggressive and relentless. But what if they are toeing the line?
Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), you have protection from harassment by creditors and debt collectors. But first, you need to know what harassment looks like.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau discusses what debt collectors can and cannot do. They cannot misrepresent themselves, and they cannot harass you in any form. Misrepresentation often comes in the form of lying about authority to scare you into compliance. Common tactics include:
- A debt collector pretending they are also an attorney
- Making false threats to have you arrested
- Making threats they cannot follow through on, or have no intention of doing
- Lying about the amount you owe
Potential forms of harassment
You have an even bigger net of protection when it comes to harassing behaviors. The FDCPA protects you from any form of contact that may distress you. Examples include debt collectors cursing at you or making verbal threats. It also includes any use of profane or obscene language.
If the method of contact seems harassing, this falls under the FDCPA too. For example, a debt collector cannot call you without identifying themselves. They cannot call during unusual hours, either. Finally, they cannot call you repeatedly with the express intention of abusing, annoying or harassing whoever picks up the phone.
You have several options when it comes to stopping debt collector harassment in its tracks. To explore them, consider contacting a legal expert. They can help guide you through your options.