How Debt Collection Agencies May Harass Consumers for Payment
Many consumers have some amount of debt, whether it is from credit cards, personal loans, educational loans, car loans, or something else. A consumer is typically quite aware that he or she still owes money to an agency, as this is not easy to forget. Debt collection agencies may take their attempts to receive payments too far and illegally harass the consumer.
Consumers who have received aggressive and excessive calls from an unrelenting debt collection agency may want to meet with an attorney, for legal advice about how to handle the situation. Here we have answered questions about what it means to be harassed by a debt collection agency and what you can do about it.
What does debt collection harassment mean?
Debt collection harassment happens when an agency uses deceptive and distasteful tactics to get payment from a consumer. Depending on what state you live in, there may be laws that limit what exactly debt collection agencies can say and do. Here are a few ways that a debt collector may harass a consumer:
- Requesting more is paid that what is truly owed
- Unrelenting phone calls to the consumer’s cell phone
- Using unprofessional language that is abusive or profane
- Calling very early in the morning or very late at night
- Calling at times of the day that the agency knows may be inconvenient for the consumer
- Threatening action if the debts are not paid
- Giving a third party your address, phone number, and other personal information
- Calling your place of work about the debt
- Disregarding your written request to have the debt verified
- Continuing the attempts at collection despite receiving a cease communication notice
If I sue the debt collection agency for harassment, what may be the resolution?
The consumer may be entitled to financial compensation for the harassment committed on behalf of the debt collection agency. If a consumer wants to file a lawsuit, it is his or her best interest to keep evidence such as letters, emails, phone calls, and voicemails in which the agency was harassing for payments. Evidence can be crucial to how much a consumer receives in financial restitution.
In what ways may the debt collection agency be deceptive?
An agency that is trying to get money from a consumer regarding his or her debt may try multiple strategies to obtain payments. Some of these tactics may be unlawful and include misrepresentations about the debt including:
- How much the consumer owes
- That the representative from the agency is an attorney
- False threats that the consumer will be arrested if they do not send payment
- Other threats that cannot legally be acted upon by the agency
How can an attorney help me?
If you are unsure whether what you are experiencing from a debt collection agency is illegal, an attorney can provide insight into what may qualify as harassment. An attorney can also offer legal representation and be a source of information as the lawsuit proceeds. Many consumers find relief knowing they have someone with legal knowledge helping them along the way.