Have you accumulated enough debt for collectors to come after you? Do they call you repeatedly and threaten you? You may think that your level of debt makes you deserving of such abusive behavior. The truth is that no matter how much you owe and to how many lenders, there are certain actions you should not have to endure and that are also outright illegal. Learn how to recognize and eliminate creditor harassment so you can resolve your credit issues in peace.
Behaviors that constitute harassment
Not all interactions with debt collectors are automatically harassment. Collectors have the right to contact you and demand payment, but they have to follow the regulations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Behaviors that break these rules include the following:
- Calling you repeatedly with the intent to annoy or abuse
- Calling your employer, neighbors or others about your debt
- Contacting you at unreasonable times or at work
- Making threats of violence or arrest
- Using obscene language
- Withholding or lying about their identities
- Misrepresenting the amount of debt you owe
It is also harassment if debt collectors do any of these things to anyone else who answers your phone or whom they contact.
Responding to creditor harassment
You do not have to tolerate such inappropriate treatment. You can file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which is a federal agency, or with Florida’s attorney general. The CFPB even provides sample letters you can use for replying to collectors and asking them to cease contact. You also have the option to sue the collectors for violating the FDCPA, with the opportunity to win damages and payment of attorney fees.
No matter which route you take, remember to record all communication with harassers. Include information such as the creditor’s name, the date and time of the call, abusive language and any other violations. Keep emails and letters between you, including copies of letters you send.
The fastest way to stop creditor harassment is by hiring an Orlando debt relief attorney. This forces bill collectors to communicate with your attorney instead of directly with you. They also will have to comply with the request to stop contacting you. It may take up to a few days for them to receive the notification, so in the meantime, give them your attorney’s name and number when they call, and then