When you fall behind on bills, you do not need the extra stress of creditors bothering you. There are various reasons that people fall into debt, such as family emergencies or losing a job. No matter what got you into this financial situation, harassment from debt collectors is never okay. Understanding the characteristics of debt collector harassment will help you understand if it is time for you to seek legal action to protect yourself.
1. Excessive calls
If creditors are repeatedly calling you to intentionally abuse or annoy you, they are engaging in harassment. They may call you at work or home. This is a telltale sign of abusive debt collecting practices. Some collectors may even utilize auto-dialers or robo-dialers to make your phone ring excessively.
2. Threats of legal action
Sometimes debt collectors will engage in threats when contacting borrowers. Threats of legal action are intended to intimidate you. Other lenders may threaten to impose extra fees or debit your accounts if you do not start making payments. Although they are allowed to notify you of financial or legal consequences of outstanding bills, false threats are illegal.
3. Third party harassment
Some payday lenders will hire out others to collect debts. This is often associated with false claims and threats. Third party collectors often call at especially unusual times. Creditors should be overseeing their providers to ensure everyone is complying with the law.
4. Showing up to your work
Employees of creditors may take an extra step in harassment activities by taking it into a physical space. They m ay actually show up at your workplace in an attempt to collect your debt. This is especially disheartening as it brings harassment into your personal space, not just over the phone.
5. Ignoring disputes
Debt collectors may report false information to consumer agencies to lower your credit score. If you dispute information that has been sent to a consumer agency, creditors are generally required to investigate the dispute. Disputed accounts may be ignored or even deleted instead of properly investigated.
These are just five examples of debt collector harassment. Other activities they may engage in include publishing your name, using obscene language and contacting you without disclosing their identity. Unfortunately, these unethical and misleading tactics are used to intimidate borrowers who are in debt. All consumers deserve protection against harassment. If you are subjected to any of these behaviors, seeking legal action can help protect you and safeguard your rights to privacy and decency.