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Debt Collector Harassment Can Impact Your Personal and Professional Life

Adam J Krohn / Posted: 2010-11-09 12:00 am
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a federal law that came into existence to ensure fair debt collection. The act is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and private attorneys to protect consumers from the unfair practices of third-party debt collectors.

These third-party collectors often engage in techniques that amount to harassment. Debt collector harassment can adversely affect both the personal and professional life of the victim. For example, a debt collector calling the debtor’s employer for payment on a debt is a violation of the FDCPA – and is also an act of harassment which can damage the debtor’s professional life. Likewise, repeated calls on a consumer’s home phone (also a violation of the FDCPA) amount to disturbance and harassment and can even create psychological distress and affect the victim’s personal life.

The FDCPA has a set of rules that determine what is a permitted debt collection practice and what is debt collector harassment. Debt collector harassment can be either written or verbal, but such harassment in any form is considered a violation of the FDCPA and is punishable in a court of law.
According to the FDCPA, even those who owe a debt are entitled to protection against harassment by debt collectors. Debtors must be given a decent and fair treatment during the debt collection process.

The following can be impermissible methods of debt collector harassment:
  • Calling repeatedly over the phone
  • Threatening to use violence
  • Using obscene or abusive language
  • Calling at a debtor’s work place
  • Calling after the debtor asks the collector to stop
  • Not disclosing the collector’s name over the phone
  • Demanding more payment than due
  • Sending notices that look like court notices
  • Attempting to extract payment over the phone
  • Giving false identity of being an attorney
  • Threatening legal action that is not available or intended

You have a right to stand protected and not suffer debt collector harassment. Before your professional and personal life take a downward turn you should take steps to stop these calls. The first step you should take if you are being harassed by debt collectors after you have asked them to stop is to gather all possible information about the debt, as well as the collector's name, address and phone numbers. You can then send a cease and desist letter by a certified mail with a return receipt request to this mailing address, or file a complaint with the FTC and pursue a lawsuit against the collector with the help of an experienced FDCPA attorney.
Tags : Debt Collection Harassment, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Fdcpa

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