Debt collectors are notorious around the country, if not the world, for
going to great lengths to try to collect debts from consumers and lenders.
Debt collection agencies must train their collectors thoroughly in acceptable
collection practices, however, or else they run the risk of an agent violating
the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). In short, every consumer
is protected from certain inappropriate creditor actions and forms of
harassment described in the FDCPA, which is further enforced by the Fair Trade Commission (FTC).
If you are dealing with debt and creditor harassment, it is crucial that
you know your rights, which include:
Regular hours: Creditors cannot call you before 8:00 AM or after 9:00 PM for any reason
and on any day, even weekends.
Workplace peace & quiet: A creditor can contact you at your place of employment once without any
backlash on their end. But once you tell them, either over-the-phone or
through written communication, that they are not permitted to contact
you there any further, they must cease and desist that tactic.
Privacy: A creditor can ask third parties, such as friends, family, and coworkers,
for your basic contact information but they cannot mention the fact that
you owe money. Your debt is your private concern and may not be freely shared.
Respectful behavior: If a creditor raises their voice to you, threatens your wellbeing, insults
you, or engages in any other behavior that is harassing or abusive, they
have openly violated the FDCPA.
Truthfulness: Any sort of falsification on part of a creditor is a serious FDCPA violation.
Common falsities creditors use include changing the amount you owe, claim
they represent law enforcement, state your failure to pay is a criminal
act, threaten to
garnish your wages or
seize your personal property, and exaggerating your debt to credit reporting companies.
What Can Stop Creditor Harassment?
If you have been harassed by a creditor in a way that you believe violated
your FDCPA rights, you may want to contact the FTC to inform them of the
company’s unjust tactics. If successful, you could be protecting
other people in your situation from being treated in the same way. You
may also want to consider filing for
bankruptcy if your debt is overwhelming.
713.396.5094 to connect with Maida Law Firm, P.C. and our Houston bankruptcy attorneys.
We can explain to you how automatic stays stop creditors in their tracks
and what else you can do to resolve creditor harassment during a
free initial case evaluation.