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What does abusive debt collection look like?

When you're in debt, the last thing you need is someone constantly reminding you of your financial situation. Unfortunately, if your account has been sent to debt collection, you can expect some level of interaction with a debt collector.

But there's something you always need to remember: A debt collector is not permitted to breach your consumer rights as outlined by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Here are some of the most common examples of abusive debt collection:

  • Calling you at work after you tell them to stop: Debt collectors are permitted to call you at work, but if you tell them to stop, they are required by law to comply. Also, if a collector calls you and your supervisor answers, they are not permitted to call again unless they receive explicit permission.
  • Calling you during off-hours: Generally speaking, debt collectors are permitted to contact you from the hours of 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. This protects against a collector calling you at other times, often with the idea of catching you off guard or "annoying" you into paying your debt.
  • Making threats: Debt collectors can say a lot of things, but using threatening language is prohibited by the Federal Trade Commission. For example, they are not permitted to threaten you with violence or threaten to call the police.

If you feel that you're a victim of abusive debt collection, explain this to the debt collector in hopes that they understand your position. In the event that they persist, learn more about your legal rights and how to take action against the collector that's violating them.

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