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Have you been harassed by a debt collector?

On Behalf of | Dec 10, 2021 | Credit

When you are already buried under a pile of debt, every little thing can act as an exacerbating stressor. The last thing you need or want in this scenario is a debt collector breathing down your neck, forcing you into uncomfortable positions and rushed decisions.

Unfortunately, some debt collectors even take it a step too far. Their behavior turns into harassment, which you, fortunately, have legal protection from. But how do you know if the debt collector hounding you have actually broken the law?

Verbal or physical threats

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau discusses behaviors that creditors cannot do. These harassing behaviors violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which protects people like you from unwarranted, cruel or manipulative behavior in a debt collector’s attempt to gather their owed dues.

First, debt collectors cannot behave in an inappropriate or aggressive way. This includes physical or verbal threats of violence, derogatory language, slurs, name-calling and cursing.

Harassing phone calls

Next, they cannot make harassing phone calls. Phone calls will fall under this category if they involve the aforementioned aggressive or inappropriate forms of communication. They also count as harassment if the caller makes an unreasonable number of calls per day or refuses to identify themselves in voice messages. It is also harassment if it occurs at unreasonable hours.

Finally, they cannot physically menace you by staking out your property. One intimidation tactic involves someone working for the debt collector parking outside of your property but within view. They will then stay there for hours a day, most days of the week, strictly to make you feel menaced.

None of these actions are legal and if you suffered from them, you can potentially seek compensation under the FDCPA. You can also ensure they will no longer be able to torment you.