If you struggle with debt, you may expect to eventually hear from debt collectors. Some may be dishonest, untruthful and intimidating, resorting to almost anything they can do to collect the money.
Such behavior is repugnant and illegal. A federal law known as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) protects consumers. The FDCPA makes it illegal for collectors to pursue specific acts when trying to collect debts.
Threats and contacting employers
Here are some tactics that unscrupulous debt collectors will attempt in getting consumers to pay up:
- Misrepresenting themselves: Some flat-out lie, pretending to be someone else. They may claim to be a government employee, police officer or an attorney just to intimidate you. Debt collectors must identify themselves and the agency for which they work.
- Threatening behavior: It is against the law for debt collectors to threaten someone to get them to repay their debts. Some tactics may include threatening to have you fired from your job, being arrested, causing you bodily harm or even contacting your neighbors.
- Contacting others: Debt collectors may contact your attorney if you have retained one. However, reaching out to other third parties is illegal. This group includes your employer and relatives.
- Calling you at any time: Federal law declares that debt collectors only can call during the hours from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m. Late-night calls from creditors are meant to intimidate you as if Big Brother is watching.
- Resorting to harassment: These are the four above points all combined into one. Excessive phone calls at work and home, and in-person visits are emblematic of bullying and intimidation.
Devious debt collectors often resort to such tactics to get consumers riled up. Their goal is to collect on those debts in any way possible. Do not listen to them.
Federal law is on your side
Remember that federal law is on your side. You know that you already face challenges in dealing with your debt. However, you do not need a debt collector threatening you and trying to squash you.