Handling debt collector harassment is already enough of a trial in and of itself, but did you know that harassing behaviors are not the only potential issue you may run into? Misrepresentative behaviors also fall under the list of matters the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) considers unfair.
But what is debt collector misrepresentation, and does it differ from harassment in any significant way? How do you identify it when it happens to you?
Harassment vs. misrepresentation
In addition to harassment, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau also examines debt collector misrepresentation. This differs from harassment in numerous notable ways, including a lack of direct threat or the use of vulgar or crude language in their attempts to confront you.
However, debt collectors engaging in misrepresentation may still threaten you in some ways. In fact, one of the primary ways a debt collector commits misrepresentation is by making threats they do not have the power or intention to back up. This can include threatening to take your vehicle as collateral when they have no plans to do so.
A debt collector may also attempt to convince you that they have attorneys who are ready to evict you from your home when that is not the truth. They may say they have a warrant out for your arrest when law enforcement has nothing to do with your case.
Falsely presenting your debt
Finally, they can attempt to make the situation seem more urgent than it is by inflating the amount of debt you actually owe. This exaggeration can lead to undue stress and may pressure you into paying money you do not have just to avoid arrest or worse.
If you have faced any of these behaviors, consider contacting legal aid, as you can take action against these debt collectors under the FDCPA.