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Harassing creditors threaten to take away individuals' kids, pets

When Colorado residents become submerged in high debt, they may feel like they do not know where to turn for answers. This is especially true when individuals start facing creditor harassment through threatening phone calls, letters and other means. In these situations, it is important to know one's rights, and what can be done to stop creditors from continuing their threats.

To begin, individuals with high credit card debt should understand their rights. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, creditors must follow a debtor's request to stop contacting the person. However, this has not stopped many creditors from going too far and violating a person's rights.

For instance, one creditor was recently shut down after using deceptive practices, including threatening jail time and threatening a person's employment. What's more, the creditor told individuals their children could be taken away if they were taken to jail for not complying with the creditor's requests.

Other creditors have been alleged to have threatened family pets, and have misrepresented their authority as creditors by posing as a law firm. While the Federal Trade Commission has taken action against these creditors, many others continue to engage in harassing behaviors.

Fortunately, individuals may find relief from creditor harassment by filing for bankruptcy, among other options. In a bankruptcy, an automatic stay is imposed against all collection activities, which prevents creditors from collecting on their debts. Moreover, the creditors will have to work through the person's attorney during the bankruptcy case, which can save individuals the stress and fear of confronting harassing creditors.

Source: CNN Money, "Debt collection horror stories," Blake Ellis, Feb. 6, 2013

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