As someone suffering under the weight of debt, you already have more than enough concerns on your plate. Unfortunately, a debt collector might add more to it, intentionally or unintentionally.
Any form of debt collection might feel like a big stressor. At the same time, debt collectors sometimes go out of their way to apply extra stress. In these cases, you can take action to protect yourself.
Examples of harassing behavior
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau examines debt collector harassment and what it means. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) attempts to protect people like you from facing debt collector harassment. Unfortunately, some still go ahead and victimize those in debts anyway.
There are specific actions under FDCPA that debt collectors are legally disallowed from partaking or participating in. If they do these things, you have the right to take them to court. They include:
- Making threats of physical harm
- Using profane or vulgar language
- Calling you at odd hours or without properly identifying themselves
- Other intimidation tactics, like parking a car in front of your home
- Releasing your private information on public “debt shaming” lists
Your options in dealing with them
Taking them to court is not your only option. You can also file for bankruptcy. This will immediately block all debt collectors from contacting you for any reason, regardless of how they handled the matter.
Note that if you win your court case, the debt collector must often pay for damages. On top of that, judges also often demand these debt collectors to pay for your legal fees. This means you will achieve some financial relief while also freeing yourself from harassing behavior.