Thousands of Americans deal with creditor harassment every day, and many don’t know how to deal with it. In fact, many borrowers mistakenly believe that because they are behind on payments, the aggressive behavior lenders subject them to is permitted. Some are simply misinformed about their rights, and what can be done to protect those rights. The Federal Debt Collection Practices Act was enacted to protect consumers from harassment conducted under the veil of debt collection by third-party agencies, and it outlines certain behaviors that are grounds for a lawsuit.
What Qualifies as Harassment?
The list of prohibited actions is lengthy, and each serves to keep the rights of consumers from being infringed upon. If you have had to deal with any of these debt collection practices, you have been a victim of creditor harassment under the FDCPA.
- Calling a debtor at work
- Contacting a consumer who has retained legal representation, rather than their attorney
- Calling at any time other than the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. in timezone which the consumer resides
- Misrepresenting oneself’s position or the facts regarding the collection
- Seeking more than what is owed
- Speaking with anyone about the case, other than the consumer, his/her attorney or spouse
- Incorrect reporting to credit agencies
- Contacting someone who has filed for bankruptcy
- Calling a debtor over and over again
These are just some of those predatory practices, and each can warrant legal action, especially if the behavior persists after the first instance.
How to Stop Harassment
When faced with creditor harassment, there are steps a consumer can take to put the illegal behaviors to an end and get justice. The first is to write a letter to the collector requesting that communication ceases. The FDCPA requires that they do so, but of course, that is not always the case, at which point it is crucial to document every communication. You can then file a formal complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, as well as with Florida’s Office of Financial Regulation. Finally, you can sue the collector to recover any damages. Strong representation and careful documentation of the actions will be essential for getting the best results in court.
If you are being harassed by debt collectors, it’s time to say, “enough is enough.” Call a Miami debt defense attorney today to put a stop to the madness.