The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) went into play to protect you from debt collector misrepresentation and harassment. Unfortunately, even with these protections in place, some still use these unfair behaviors and practices.
What can you do to protect yourself? The first step is noticing and classifying harassing behavior.
Debt collector misrepresentation
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau examines what behaviors debt collectors cannot engage in. This includes misrepresentation and malicious attempts at harassment alike. For misrepresentation, a debt collector cannot:
- Make threats they have no legal power to carry out
- Lie about how much you owe
- Pretend to be an attorney
- Threaten you with false arrest
Malicious harassment attempts
Harassing behavior often comes in the form of repeated or malicious contact. For example, a debt collector might call you many times throughout the day. They could also call past what many consider appropriate hours, such as in the middle of the night or early hours of the morning.
Some debt collectors will take it a step farther and threaten you. They may curse or speak in a vulgar, derogative way. They may make physical threats upon you or other individuals living with you. They could also try intimidation techniques, like parking outside your home to let you know they are watching.
The FDCPA disallows certain shaming techniques, too. They cannot publish public lists of debtors names and information, for example. If you notice any of these things occurring, consider speaking to a legal professional. They can tell you your rights and help you fight back against the harassment you face.