If you owe an entity money and do not pay, that company may send your account to collections. At this point, a debt collector will likely try to contact you to obtain money to cover what you owe.
According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a debt collector may contact you to collect past-due debts or to locate someone you may know. Although debt collectors can legally contact you and try to make you pay for existing debt, they cannot harass you. The following are some signs that a debt collector has engaged in harassment techniques.
Threatening legal action
A debt collector should not threaten legal action, such as filing a lawsuit, against you. A debt collector is also not allowed to threaten to confiscate your income tax refund, seize your property or garnish your wages.
Making false statements
To make you pay for a debt, some debt collectors will lie to you. For example, some debt collectors will pretend to be a government official or an attorney and make up situations about what could happen if you do not pay off your debt.
Calling you at inappropriate times
When a debt collector calls you, he or she cannot threaten violence or use inappropriate language. A debt collector is also prohibited from calling you before 8:00 a.m. and after 9 p.m.
Debt collector harassment can cause significant stress and overwhelm. If you believe you have become the victim of harassment due to a debt collector’s actions, take steps to protect your legal interests.