When Debt Collectors Use Intimidation and Harassment Against Consumers

When Debt Collectors Use Intimidation and Harassment Against Consumers

A consumer who answers a debt collection call may initially respond with annoyance at being bothered. That reaction could quickly turn into feeling overwhelmed and unsettled when the debt collection agency starts making threats. Unfortunately, not all debt collectors use considerate strategies when trying to collect payments. A consumer who is experiencing debt collection harassment may have no idea who to turn to or what their options are in trying to fight off this mistreatment. 

How can I get a debt collector to stop harassing me over the phone?

It can be incredibly difficult to get a debt collector to stop the harassment once they have obtained the consumer’s contact information. It is not uncommon for a creditor to request that a debt collector pursues payment for them, especially if the creditor has not received money from the consumer in quite some time. A consumer who wants to get these calls to stop can request in writing to not be contacted. A debt collector may be violating consumer rights if they continue to pester for payment anyway.

Why do debt collectors use intimidation and threats to get consumers to pay?

Debt collectors may use unprofessional methods to pressure a consumer into paying an overdue bill. Perhaps the debt collector believes that a consumer will not pay unless threatened with consequences. A consumer who is being harassed may want to contact the original creditor and try to reach an agreement. The original creditor is more likely than a debt collector to work with a consumer who is going through a challenging financial time. 

What if the debt collector says that I will be arrested if I don’t pay?

A debt collector who runs an unethical operation may say whatever they can to get your money. For example, a collector may demand payment or else the consumer will be taken into custody by local police. This may just be an empty threat as a way to scare the consumer into giving them their money. Any consumer who is dealing with such treatment may want to obtain legal representation for protection promptly before the harassment can continue. 

Why won’t the debt collector stop the harassment when I ask them to?

Many debt collection agencies may think a consumer does not have the means to file a lawsuit, especially if he or she is unable to make debt payments. Or, such an agency may assume consumers won’t take legal action simply because they do not realize that what is happening may be illegal. 

When should I seek legal counsel for the harassment?

The very first time a consumer is threatened, harassed, misled, or otherwise mistreated by a debt collector, they should consider meeting with an attorney, for advice. An attorney can help protect your rights as a consumer and even fight to get you financial compensation for the harassment. Those who are interested in filing a lawsuit against the debt collection agency may want to keep records of every time they were contacted. Proof such as incoming phone calls, voicemails, letters, emails, and text messages can be useful to build a solid case.