When a creditor calls you once, you might take the call and be reasonable with them. Maybe you’ll explain that you don’t have the money to pay or ask that they send you the bill in the mail.
If that creditor continues to call you every hour or persists on calling until you pick up, that’s when they start to be in violation of the law and begin to upset people. There are many kinds of creditor harassment, and they’re all illegal.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act distinctly states that debt collectors may not harass, abuse or oppress you or anyone else that they decide to reach out to. If they do, then they are in violation of the law.
What are the most common kinds of creditor harassment?
The most common types of creditor harassment include:
- Calling without telling you who they are or what they’re trying to collect
- Using profane or obscene language
- Using threats
- Continuing to call repeatedly in an attempt to abuse, annoy or harass you
- Posting lists of those who have not paid their debts online, in the newspaper or elsewhere
If a creditor is doing these things, you may be in a position to file a lawsuit. You may be able to sue under the FDCPA by showing that these debt collectors continue to call often. If you decide to sue and do win, then the creditor may have to pay you for damages as well as covering your attorney’s fees.
What can you do if the debt collector lies to collect a debt?
Debt collectors aren’t allowed to lie to collect a debt. For example, they can’t tell you they’ll charge you $100 and then pull $1,000 from your account. They can’t claim that they’ll have you arrested if you don’t pay. They also can’t assert that they are attorneys or work in law unless they do.
Keep your communication data and documents
It’s important for you to respond to debt collectors and to keep all communications. If the collector harasses you, then having this information can help you build a case for compensation.