Debt collector harassment is more common than most people know – and if it’s happened to you, you may not realize that some of the tactics debt collectors use are actually illegal.
What is Debt Collector Harassment?
Debt collection harassment is an umbrella term that can cover a wide range of activities. These activities are often against the law, but debt collectors use them in an effort to get you to pay. In some cases, debt collectors try to get you to pay more than you owe by way of “interest” or fees.
Debt Collector Harassment and Abuse: What They Can’t Do
Under this law, debt collectors aren’t allowed to call you at certain times (before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.) or at work, provided that you tell them you can’t receive calls there.
Debt collectors are expressly forbidden from telling you owe more than you do, or from charging you fees and interest unless your original contract with the original lender specified that they could.
Further, they can’t use the phone to purposely annoy you, use obscene language when they talk to you, or threaten you with harm or any type of violence. Some debt collectors have threatened to publish the names of people who don’t pay their debts, which they can’t do, and some have been known to make false statements (such as claiming they work for the government or that you’ve committed some sort of crime by not paying).
These abusive practices are against the law – and if you’ve been the victim of one or more of them, you could be entitled to financial compensation. Even if you’re not sure whether you’ve been subjected to debt collection abuse, you may want to call an FDCPA attorney in Glendale to discuss your situation.
Wrong-Number Debt Collection Calls
If a debt collector mistakenly calls you, let him or her know that you’re not the person they’re looking for. If that same collector repeatedly contacts you, he or she could be breaking the law (and you could be entitled to increased financial compensation if that’s the case).
Threatening Debt Collection Calls
When a debt collector threatens you in an attempt to get you to pay money that you owe (or worse, money that you don’t owe), you may have a case. Threats are illegal, whether the person on the other end of the phone is claiming that he’ll publish your name in the paper or she says she’s going to send someone to your home to harm you or damage your property in some way.
Debt Collectors Who Try to Over-Charge You
A debt collector is only permitted to try to collect the amount of money you actually owe. The only exception is when your original contract (the one you had with the original creditor) says that you may be charged additional fees for failure to pay.
Harassing Debt Collection Phone Calls
Debt collectors aren’t allowed to harass you by repeatedly calling or texting you in an attempt to get you to pay. The term harassment is defined by the U.S. government as “repetitious phone calls that are intended to annoy, abuse, or harass you or any person answering the phone.”
Are You a Victim of Debt Collector Harassment?
If you’ve been the victim of debt collector harassment it may be beneficial to talk to an attorney who can help you recover damages if you’re entitled to them.
Call us at 818-918-3876 today. We’ll evaluate your situation and find out whether the debt collectors who have been calling you may have violated the FDCPA or the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, or TCPA.