Suffering with debt is already bad enough on its own, but unfortunately, you may also have to deal with debt collectors at the same time. Some will stretch their boundaries too far, toeing the line into harassment.
How do you recognize this harassment as it occurs? Is there anything you can do to stop it?
Protections from debt collectors
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau discusses debt collector harassment as a major issue. Debt collectors must follow a strict set of rules that determine what is and is not harassing behavior while collecting on debts. However, many will overlook, bend or even outright break these rules in their collection process.
Thus, it is important for the victim to understand their rights and to know how far debt collectors can really go. This way, they can step up and fight for themselves if they end up facing harassing behavior.
What is disallowed?
First, debt collectors cannot threaten you. They cannot make physical threats, they cannot threaten to force you from your home, they cannot threaten anyone else living in the home. They cannot curse at you or use vulgar language, either. In general, most intimidation tactics are off the table.
They also cannot contact you by phone outside of hours considered reasonable. For example, they cannot call you all throughout the early hours of the morning or at midnight. They also cannot call multiple times without leaving a message.
They cannot misconstrue themselves or lie to you, either. For example, they cannot pretend they have attorneys getting ready to sue you if they do not. They cannot pretend to have a warrant for your arrest if they do not. Any misrepresentation or harassment in such a manner is grounds for legal action.