The purpose of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is to prevent creditors from harassing debtors and regulates how these collection agencies may get in contact with you. Understandably, creditors will attempt to contact you when you are behind on your bills. However, there is a thin line between reasonable collection attempts and actual harassment.
If you feel like creditors have turned to harassment, you very likely are right.
Creditors cannot threaten you.
Creditors cannot use obscene language or insults when contacting you via voicemail or through other means. This also includes repeatedly dialing your phone number and then hanging up. A collections agent is in violation of the FDCPA if he or she threatens your confidentiality or safety in any way by threatening you with violence or publishing your personal information.
Collections agents cannot call you 24/7.
Consider getting help if you tried to get a creditor to stop calling you during restricted hours, but he or she keeps trying to contact you. Unless they have your explicit permission, agents should not call you before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m.
Agents cannot contact you when you file for bankruptcy.
After you file for bankruptcy, you will receive an automatic stay on most legal actions and collections proceedings. This means that creditors cannot continue their excessive phone calls and sending letters.
Overall, even if you feel powerless in stopping creditors from harassing you, know that you can report them to your state attorney general, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or to the Federal Trade Commission.