People experiencing money problems are inherently vulnerable to collector harassment. For this reason, the government has been regulating what debt collectors can and cannot do for over 50 years. To help you recognize if your rights are being violated, here are some important collection behaviors to keep in mind:
- calling before 8 AM or after 9 PM without permission
- contacting you at work without permission
- threatening violence or damage to your reputation
- using abusive or profane language
- repeatedly calling
“Prohibited deceptive practices” include:
- lying about who they are (like claiming to be an attorney or official)
- lying about the amount you owe
- lying to threaten you will be arrested, sued, or have property repossessed
“Unfair practices” include:
- adding interest, fees, or charges onto the original amount that are not explicitly outlined in the original contract
- publishing or otherwise publicly sharing your debt information
What to do if you’ve been the victim of illegal debt collection methods:
Debt collectors generate more federal complaints than any other category. It’s not realistic to think the government will assist with every complaint, but they do help with ongoing efforts. In September of 2020, the FTC announced Operation Corrupt Collector, the latest step in a years-long campaign that busts, bans and prosecutes companies claiming phantom debts or engaging in abusive collection practices.
Consider lawyering-up. If what you’ve experienced is truly harassment and in violation of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, you may be entitled to up to $1,000. Additionally, the debt collector will have to pay for your attorney, and having legal representation can help you in ways beyond a monetary payout. For example, if the debt isn’t valid, or the amount owed is exaggerated, the attorney will know how to help you.
The debt collector has resources, knowledge, and lawyers to help them collect from you; you’ll need the same on your side. Consider hiring The Law Offices of Jeffrey Lohman to help with your case. We specialize in bringing these matters to a swift resolution. Contact us today.