When you fall into debt, you will almost certainly also deal with debt collectors. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) regulates the sort of tactics they can use to collect on these debts, but of course, that does not guarantee they will actually listen or abide by these laws.
Thus, it is crucial to understand what harassing behavior looks like from a debt collector. This can help you take quick action and seek protection under the FDCPA.
When and how do debt collectors contact you
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau looks at debt collector behaviors the law considers harassing. First, a debt collector cannot infringe on your time beyond what one would consider operational or working hours. In other words, if a debt collector calls you in the early morning or late into the night, this alone constitutes harassment. A failure to identify oneself during the call also falls under this category.
Of course, the contents of what they say to you should face scrutiny, as well. Debt collectors who cross the line will often use abusive language to try scaring you into paying up. This can include cursing, obscene or crude language, and even threats.
Threats against you
Speaking of, any form of threat falls under the FDCPA’s banned behaviors. This includes threats of eviction, bankruptcy, and general threats to the well-being of you or others who live in your home.
If you face any of the aforementioned tactics, it is extremely likely the debt collectors you spoke with used harassment as a tactic. You can take action against them and even bring them to court, so consider contacting legal aid to look into your options.