Debt Collection Harassment – 8 Facts You Should Know
Written by Cooper and Friedman on October 15, 2019
A lot of people have never dealt with debt collectors so they’re reluctant or even fearful to take a debt collector’s call or receive letters about credit card debts that they may owe. Experts say that the consumers need to face the facts and deal with any debt collector that comes their way. However, as debt collection harassment attorneys, we believe consumers should also be aware of their rights and protections. Here are 8 facts that you need to know about debt collection harassment.
1. Understand your rights and educate yourself.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has numerous publications that are created in an effort to inform consumers about the rights they have under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Threats, harassment, nuisance phone calls, and abusive language are not legal and should be reported to authorities at the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
2. They cannot falsely claim to get you arrested.
The Federal debt collection law prohibits debt collectors from falsely claiming that you’ve committed a crime or claiming that you’ll get arrested in case you don’t repay the debt you owe. The collection agencies are not allowed to issue warrants or even have you put in jail for simply failing to repay legitimate credit card debt, a medical bill, car loans, or your mortgage.
3. Never fall for debt collectors trying to collect the debt that you don’t owe.
Many sketchy debt collectors will knowingly rely on incorrect information to try and get the money out of you. Because the creditors that you originally owed the money to might have sold your debt to another collection agency and that agency may have sold it to another one. Somewhere along the way, a mistake could have been made. In these cases it’s possible that the debt collector contacting you is using incorrect information.
4. Keep copies or records of your documents.
As debt collection harassment attorneys, we highly recommend that you keep documents related to your financial transactions. They might come in handy later on. For example, having access to documents like the resolution of a loan or proof of settlement will protect you and keep you out of future trouble. Any time a question arises about your settled or pending debt, you will have easy access to the appropriate documentation to protect you.
5. Safeguard your bank accounts.
Debt collectors do have the right to file suit against consumers for non-payment of debts. Freezing the savings or checking accounts can be one of the court-ordered options for the collection of debts. More often than not this is a problematic situation for cash flow and family budgets. Given this it might be advisable to have separate bank accounts for certain funds.
6. Never ignore a call to a court.
If you’ve received a court summons for a debt-related lawsuit, you shouldn’t ignore it. Though an unscrupulous debt collector can fabricate such documents they may turn out to be legitimate. In cases like this, it may also make sense to contact an attorney specializing in debt collection issues for expert advice. It’s important to note that if you ignore a court summons, a judge can issue an arrest warrant against your name even if you are wrongfully accused.
7. Record conversations.
You cannot be harassed by a debt collection agency with the use of threats or abusive language. If something like that happens, you may choose to record the conversation as it’ll protect you later on. Telling the collector that you’re recording the call is advisable because the collectors are less likely to overstep their boundaries when they know documentation of the call is being made.
8. Manage your debt.
Always have an accredited counseling agency by your side. You can never be too cautious about your consumer rights and safety. For example, the Financial Counseling Association of America is one of the major accrediting agencies for credit counselors. Agencies like this can help you work out a payment plan that works best for your family budget while keeping your safe from debt collection harassment.
If you or someone you love is the victim of debt collection harassment in the State of Kentucky or in Southern Indiana, get the legal help you need. The experienced team at Cooper and Friedman Law is here to help by offering free case consultations with an attorney. For more information, or to schedule a consultation, give us a call Monday through Friday 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. at 502-459-7555.