Owing money can be an embarrassing situation; yet many people in today’s economy owe money to someone – mortgage, credit cards, car loan, or a personal loan. The list is endless. Debt collectors have a great deal of power and it is important that consumers understand their rights under Creditor Harassment laws.
It is considered harassment when the debt collector:
- Uses abusive language
- Calls and does not identify himself
- Engages in an abusive conduct with the consumer
- Threatens to use a criminal means to collect the debt
- Calls constantly during the day, starting early until after 9:00 p.m. in your time zone
- Communicates with the consumer even though individual has an attorney
- Calls your workplace, friends, family and/or neighbors to collect your debt
Many debt collectors use the phone as their primary means to collect debt. This is why so often creditor harassment cases involve illegal and abusive phone calls. Some victims are afraid to answer their phone because they know a creditor will be on the other end demanding money. If there is an answering machine, these bold collections agents will leave nasty (yet incriminating) messages, using abusive language, profanity, and threats of criminal action including violence. These creditors will not listen to reason and they will not leave their victims alone. Victims suffer through days where the phone continues to ring every few minutes, all day long.
Under the FDCPA, debt collectors cannot abuse, harass or threaten you. Under this law, not only are debt collection agents not allowed to use any harassing tactics to try to collect debt, but they are severely restricted from participating in other misleading, deceptive or fraudulent activities. In order to be protected under the FDCPA however, the debt must be a consumer debt only – not a business debt.
Unfair collection of debt by the debt collector includes:
- trying to collect more money than the original contract
- extra charges incurred to the consumer (i.e. collect calls, delivery fees)
- calling the consumer a “dead beat” or other derogatory name
- unlawfully repossesses personal property or threatens to do so
- accepts or deposits a post-dated check
A debt collection is in violation of The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act when he sends a collection notice showing in letters that stand out, the words “Dead Beat”. A debt collector also cannot send a collection letter that resembles a court document.
Retaining a creditor harassment attorney, like Paramount Law, will stop debt collector harassment. Once we are retained, all debt collectors & collection agencies must communicate with only us as your attorney. If a debt collector still calls you once you have retained us, they are in violation of the Fair Debt Collections Practice Act and can be sued for statutory damages, actual damages and attorney fees.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act protects consumers against harassing debt collectors. No one should have to put up with abusive telephone calls morning, noon and night. If this happens to you or anyone you know, the FDCPA allows you to sue the debt collector for harassment; it is illegal for a debt collector to harass anyone. Consult the attorneys at the Oklahoma Consumer Protection Attorneys Paramount Law to discuss your legal rights.
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