Common debt collection harassment techniques
Debt collectors use many tactics and techniques to collect money from debtors. Find out what debt collection methods are actually harassment.
Debt is a very common thing. Most residents of South Carolina face debt problems at one time or another. When a person has overdue debts, they are often turned over to collection agencies. Many of these agencies play by the rules and carry out their debt collection practices in a fair and reasonable way. After all, if a person has ran up a debt, it is his or her legal obligation to pay it. However, some debt collectors may go too far and enter into illegal territory when trying to collect a debt. This is often called debt collection harassment.
What are illegal debt collection practices?
Consumers are protected by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act under the Federal Trade Commission. The FDCPA sets the rules for what debt collectors can and cannot do as they try to collect payment on a debt. These rules protect consumers against a range of bad practices, such as the use of abusive language, deceptive methods of collection, being called before 8 AM or after 9 PM, lies about the debt owed and being contacted when the debt collector has requested not to be contacted at a certain place or in a certain manner.
In addition, the FDCPA protects consumers from having people they know being contacted by debt collectors. In addition, companies cannot tell a person they will be arrested, have property seized, have wages garnished or use other false information as threats to collect a debt.
How is harassment conducted?
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau explains that debt collection harassment can occur in many ways, including by mail, online or on the phone. Some companies may lie about who they are or give out false information in an attempt to get information about a debtor. It is a common illegal practice to repeatedly call someone to collect a debt or to call a person at work to try to collect a debt. Harassment can also occur when a company calls family members or friends to try to collect a debt. Any threats are usually harassment, too.
How can a person protect themselves from harassment?
It is advised that all communications with any debt collectors be documented. A person should make notes of all phone calls and try to maintain records that prove when calls where received. It is also advised that consumers try to get paper documentation of the debt and debt collection techniques.
Dealing with debt collectors is a hassle, but it should never be something that equates to harassment. It is important that if you have experienced debt collector harassment to find out your rights and contact a legal professional, such as Meredith Law Firm, LLC.