When you owe money to creditors, there are certain legal steps that can be taken to recoup your debt. However, creditors must also ensure they do not cross the line and use illegal tactics, or they will be in a direct violation of your consumer rights. If you believe you are being subjected to creditor harassment, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Creditors are not allowed to threaten you
Some collection agencies pride themselves on their strong-arm tactics when working on behalf of their clients. Less ethical companies sometimes even resort to using threatening language as an attempt to settle a debt. Threats of harm and foul language are not permitted when a company is pursuing a debt, no matter how much money is owed. Companies that engage in this behavior are going against the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
Creditors must provide certain information
When contacting you, creditors are obligated to say who they are, as well as the company they work for. They are not permitted to misrepresent themselves, such as by saying they work for a law firm when they do not. The debt collector must also tell you the exact amount of money you owe; they are not permitted to exaggerate or embellish the amount to intimidate you.
Creditors cannot intentionally annoy you
There is a fine line between a creditor collecting on a debt and a creditor harassing another person. Repeated calls with the intention to annoy a person into taking a specific action are not permitted under current laws. A creditor is also not permitted to threaten a person by saying a notice of their debt will be released publicly. While debt information can be reported to collection agencies legally, it cannot be released to the public with the purpose of shaming debtors.