When struggling with debt, the last thing you want to do is deal with an unpleasant debt collector. While many debt collectors respect the personal bounds of the people they deal with, some will cross lines and cause problems on purpose.
How can you tell when you are subject to debt collector harassment? Where do you draw the line in their behavior?
Examples of harassment
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau discusses debt collector harassment. It shows itself in different forms, but some are more prominent than others. First, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) protects you from any form of harassment from a debt collector.
It defines these activities through the following potential examples:
- Use of profane language or obscenities
- Repeated phone calls, calling at inappropriate hours or refusal to identify themselves
- Threatening you with violence or harm
- Publishing lists with the names and information of people who owe debts
Deceptive collection practices
Under the FDCPA, debt collectors cannot use practices considered deceptive. Some examples include lying about how much you owe or pretending to be an attorney. They also cannot issue false threats of arrest. They cannot make threats they cannot follow up on too, regardless of the reason they will not follow up.
If you feel like the target of a debt collector’s harassing behavior, consider speaking to a legal expert. They can quickly identify whether the debt collector’s actions fall under the scope of FDCPA. If you have a case and win, the judge may order the debt collector to pay damages and your attorney’s fees.