Harassment by a debt collector can come in many different forms such as repetitious phone calls intended to annoy or abuse, obscene language, and threats of violence. As a consumer, you should not have to suffer this abuse.
Protection Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a federal law that limits the behavior and actions of third-party debt collectors who are attempting to collect a debt on behalf of another entity. The purposed of the FDCPA is to allow consumers the ability to file suit against debt collectors that who are using abusive, unfair, or deceptive practices when trying to collect a debt from a consumer.
Some examples of prohibited collection behavior include:
- Use or threat of use of violence or other criminal means to harm the consumer, consumer's reputation, consumer's property.
- The use of obscene or profane language to a consumer.
- Communicating with a consumer before 8 a.m. and after 9 p.m. local time.
- Communicating with a consumer when the debt collector knows the consumer is represented by an attorney.
- Communicating with a consumer at the consumer's job when the debt collector has reason to know that the consumer's employer prohibits such communications.
- False representation of the character, amount, or legal status of any debt.
- False representation or implication that any individual is an attorney or that any communication is from an attorney.
- That nonpayment of any debt will result in the arrest or imprisonment of any person of the seizure, garnishment, attachment, or sale of any property or wages of any person unless such action is lawful, and the debt collector or creditor intends to take such action.
- Falsely representing or implying that a consumer committed a crime or other conduct in order to disgrace the consumer.
- Threatening to take action that cannot legally be taken.
If this has happened to you, it is a best practice to keep a file of all letters or documents a debt collector sends you and copies of anything you send to a debt collector. Be sure to write down the dates and times of all the conversations you’ve had with the debt collector as well. These records will give more evidence if you need to meet with a lawyer or go to court against the debt collector.
Hire a Gravis Debt Collection Attorney
Find a Gravis Law location near you. Our knowledge of consumer protection law will provide you with the quality and personalized help and tools you deserve. We’re here to assist you through your legal matters and beyond – making the process as smooth and uncomplicated as possible.