Frequent Debt Collection Violations
Dealing with any sort of financial hardship is stressful. And whether you are having trouble paying a student loan, a credit card balance, utility bills, or your mortgage, the last thing you need to deal with is debt collector harassment. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) allows collectors to be persistent in their attempt to collect on overdue bills; however, debt collection harassment is illegal. In general, collectors are well-versed in the regulations concerning appropriate and legal methods for trying to collect on a past due account, but occasionally they cross the line and are guilty of debt collector harassment. If you think you may be the victim of debt collector harassment, consult with a debt collection lawyer about your rights and your entitlement to file a lawsuit.
What The FDCPA Prohibits
According to the FDCPA, debt collector harassment includes the following behaviors.
- Calling at unreasonable hours; calls must occur between 8:00 am and 9:00pm.
- Failure to cease communications upon written notice to cease by the consumer, except to inform of the termination of collection efforts, or the pursuit of a lawsuit.
- Repetitive, continuous calls intended to abuse, harass or annoy consumers.
- Continued communication with consumers after the filing of a bankruptcy.
- Communication with the consumer at their place of employment after being advised that such communication is prohibited by the employer.
- Continuance of communication with a consumer represented by a lawyer.
- Communication with a consumer after he or she has requested validation of the overdue payment.
- Misrepresentation or deception by claiming to be an attorney or law enforcement officer when not one.
- Publication of a consumer’s name or address on a “bad debt” list.
- Making unjustified amount demands that contradict terms of the original contract.
- Threats of legal action or arrest.
- Use of profane or abusive language.
- Communications with others about your indebtedness besides the consumer’s spouse or attorney.
- Use of embarrassing social media posts as a means of contacting the consumer.
- Reports of false information on a consumer’s credit report.
What to Do If You Fall Victim to Debt Collector Harassment
If you are being contacted by a collection agency you have a lot on your mind, but remember that you do have rights. Keep records of any phone calls you think are inappropriate, and consult with a debt collection lawyer to see if you have grounds for suing the collector over harassment. If violations of the FDCPA are confirmed through legal recourse, the consumer is entitled to damages of up to $1000 per action.
Last Modified: Friday, March 22, 2013