The last thing you need when struggling with debt is to struggle with harassment, too. Debt collectors must abide by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) when contacting those struggling with debt. But unfortunately, they do not always do this.
When a debt collector goes against the FDCPA, they are likely committing actions or acting in a way that would count as harassment. What signs should you keep an eye out for?
Threats and intimidation tactics
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau examines potentially illegal behaviors from debt collectors. These are behaviors involving the harassment of the people they must collect debts from. Harassment can come in many forms. Some are manipulative while others are outright aggressive.
The aggressive forms are often easier to pick up on. They may involve things like a debt collector threatening you, swearing at you or making crude or offensive remarks. Some might resort to sexist or racist comments. Others may make physical threats toward you or the people you are living with.
Intimidation tactics also end up employed sometimes. This often involves a debt collector trying to make you so scared or uncomfortable that you act without them doing or saying anything directly. For example, they may park outside of your home for hours. They may call you at all hours of the day or night without identifying themselves or leaving messages, too.
Misrepresentation and manipulation
Finally, a debt collector may lie or manipulate facts to intimidate you. This is misrepresentation, which often exists separately from harassment but still share many traits. An example could be a debt collector lying about the amount you owe to make you feel more pressure to repay it immediately. If you faced any of these issues, you can consider taking legal action.