The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) contains a set of rules that determine what can be termed as harassment by a debt collector. Harassment can be either written or verbal. For example, calling you repeatedly at home or work place is a form of harassment. Harassment, in any form, is considered a severe violation of the FDCPA. According to the FDCPA the following are considered violations of the Act by a debt collector:
- Harassing by calling repeatedly
- Threatening to use violence
- Using obscene or abusive language
- Calling your place of work frequently
- Calling you after you’ve requested that calls cease
- Calling, but not giving their name
- Mailing or emailing notices that look like court notices
- Publishing a list of consumers who have not paid
- Aggressively trying to extract payment over the phone
- Falsely claiming to be an attorney
A debt collector can call you if there is a genuine debt to recover, the nature of the call is to confirm with you that you understand you have the debt and are aware payment needs to be made. You can after confirming this, ask them to cease all calls and notify you only by U.S post. Unfortunately, debt collectors often don’re respect requests and continue to place numerous calls and using inappropriate language. This may be considered to be harassment. The FDCPA punishes debt collectors who harass. The Act gives out specific guidelines on what is considered unlawful behavior. These harassment guidelines protect your rights. If debt collectors follow the rules, the emotional stress faced by the debtors can be avoided. In the absence of this understanding, there is a possibility of the consumer falling into the emotional trap and agreeing to terms they otherwise would not. You can avoid the harassment by following these simple rules:
- State immediately that you are aware of the debt and to cease all further calls.
- Stay calm and take deep breaths
- Do not get into an argument – This their goal
- Do not use foul language
- Do not give out your bank or any payment details over the phone
- Send a cease and desist letter to the creditor
If the debt collector has harassed you and violated your rights, you may be entitled to initiate litigation and sue the collector. An attorney who specializes in these cases should be contacted. Credit Card Bailout does not offer legal services. You can read the official rules for the FDCPA on the Federal Trade Commission website.
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