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What is debt collector harassment?

The government enacted laws to help sort out the parameters within which a debt collector must operate to get paid. Under these rules, a collector cannot harass you for payment.

Regardless of how you accumulated the debt, you should not have to experience unfair collection practices from a creditor. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act sets out specific rules for how a debt collector behaves. Learn more about what the government considers harassment so you can assert your rights against collection companies.

When can a collector contact you?

The FDCPA allows collectors to call and write you regarding your debt. If you wish to change how a collector contacts you, make that request in writing. If they do not comply, they are violating the FDCPA. For instance, a collector may not continue to call after you ask that they email or write. If the calls come in the middle of the night or to family members and coworkers, these actions may constitute harassment.

What can a collector say?

Debt collectors have to identify themselves immediately. They cannot lead you to believe they are anything other than a collector. If they do misrepresent themselves, it is a violation of the law. Aside from this, a collector may not use foul language or make threats against you when speaking about your debt. They cannot, for instance, say if you do not pay, they will report your debt to your employer. This is another example of harassment.

Should you face harassment from a collector, there are steps you can take to put a stop to it. Keep records of all contacts you have with collectors and those that break the rules so you may take action to put an end to the harassment.