Creditor harassment is more than an inconvenience; it’s illegal. According to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), debt collectors must adhere to strict guidelines regarding their communication with debtors.
If you feel threatened or harassed by a creditor, you can seek legal help.
Should you file for bankruptcy, collectors are not permitted to contact your for repayment any more, providing an additional layer of protection from unfair treatment.
Identifying Harassment from Debt Collectors
The FDCPA states that debt collectors may not harass, oppress, or abuse any person while seeking payment for a debt. This includes a wide range of behaviors, such as:
- Using violence or threats of violence
- Damaging the debtor’s reputation
- Using foul or obscene language
- Repeated, annoying phone calls
These forms of abuse are easy to identify, but the FDCPA prohibits other behaviors as well. For example, creditors are not allow to give misleading or false representation. This includes using fake badges or uniforms to intimidate debtors, pretending to be a legal representative, or pretending to be any form of law enforcement.
Creditors cannot exaggerate the size of your debt in order to get payment. Additionally, they cannot provide false information about the debt’s legal status or any legal action that the creditor may or may not take against you. This includes false threats of legal action.
How to Protect Your Rights
If creditors repeatedly contact your for payment, keep a careful record of your interactions with them, even if their behavior doesn’t qualify as “harassment” yet. This includes written and verbal communication. When you speak with a collector, make a note of the data and record what you said. If you have a dispute with the debt collector, these records may protect your rights.
Need more information about your options through debt relief? Contact the Southern California bankruptcy lawyers from Wadhwani & Shanfeld today.