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Bill collection harassment is any offensive language or any other abusive, harassing behavior that debt collectors use to collect a debt you owe or even a debt that they are claiming you owe that you do not. A debt collector can be from a collection agency, collection lawyers or a company that buys delinquent debt.
Sadly, these aggressive debt collection tactics are more common than you might think. The worst part about it is that many people do not realize this debt collector harassment is not only not right, but it is illegal, and you have the right to fight back.
Thanks to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, debt collectors can’t just do or say whatever they want to you and terrorize you. Regardless of what you owe and if you’re late on payments, you don’t deserve to be harassed and ridiculed and deal with the fear and anxiety they are trying to inflict on you.
For example, debt collectors can not use offensive or obscene language, lie about why they’re calling you, pretend they are someone else, threaten you with violence, make false claims that you will be arrested or say you’ve committed a crime. Harassing debt collectors may also threaten to take away your property or take away your wages, but that is illegal if they do not have a court order. If they threaten to damage your reputation, send you papers to mimic court papers when they are not or lie about the amount you owe, they are violating your rights.
Even if a debt collector isn’t saying anything offensive to you, how, where and when they are calling could also be illegal harassment that you do not have to put up with. A debt collector can not call you between the hours of 9 p.m. – 8 a.m., and they can’t call you at work when they know you are not allowed to take calls while you’re working. You don’t have to deal with the phone constantly ringing. Debt collectors can not contact you constantly for the purposes of harassment.
They also can only speak with you or a spouse about your debt. They can’t contact your family other than a spouse and friends to tell them about your debt. Nor can they inform an employer about your debt. Contacting you by post card is illegal as well.
But keep in mind that collection agency harassment isn’t just limited to phone calls you’re receiving and the communication you are directly having. It can also include harassing voice mails that are being left on your cell phone or home phone, letters or anything you receive by mail, e-mails, text messages, any in person contact or communication or even contacting you via Facebook, LinkedIn or other social media outlets.
Nobody deserves to deal with debt collection harassment, and it’s time people understand their rights and fight back. Fortunately, our credit counseling attorneys can help you no longer be a victim of debt collection harassment and stand up for what is right.