Debt Collector Harassment Practices

Debt Collector Harassment Practices

Motivation for debt collector harassment

Debt collectors have a simple objective — collect money. However, they generally should only be able to collect from the portion of consumers who can afford to make payments after all essential life necessities are covered. Instead, they often try to convince consumers who cannot afford to make payments that they should pay anyway. To do this, debt collectors will do or say anything to convince consumers to pay and, thus, debt collector harassment exists.

How bad can debt collector harassment really be?

Some consumers with very little or no money are often harassed into borrowing from others to pay previous debts. Acquiring new debt to pay old debt often leads to a snowball effect of debt. This sends the consumer spiraling further and further into debt. This is to no concern of the debt collector. The debt collector will stop at nothing to harass the the consumer into paying. This may include convincing the consumer to borrow from a friend or relative, who essentially become the new lender. Some debt collectors have even been known to encourage illegal activities for the consumer to aquire the funds including stealing, prostitution, or selling drugs. Debt collectors may also use angry outburst, intimidation, and frustration to force consumers to pay.

All of these methods debt collector harassment may be potential violations of the Fair Debt Collection Protection Act (FDCPA). If you have experiences any of these methods, contact a law firm specializing in FDCPA and debt collector harassment such as Paramount Law today.

Methods of Debt Collector Harassment

One debt collector reported in a confession to a subcommittee of  the U.S. House Committee that strategies his agency used debt collector harassment stratages frequently over the telephone. Particularly, he stated that the strategies were routine, common, and even pervasive for more than 19 debt collector companies he worked for and rampant through the entire industry. Shockingly, he never received more than 2 consumer complaints over his entire 10-year career conducting debt collector harassment. This is due to the number of consumers that are not made aware of the law and are afraid to contact an FDCPA attorney. Sadly, this causes debt collector harassment to continue in places like New Orleans, throughout Louisiana, and the rest of the U.S.

The debt collector confession listed several tactics of illegal debt collector harassment that were advised to new collectors including:

  • Calling a consumer’s parents and illegally threatening that the person with the debt will be thrown in jail if they did not pay off the debt.
  • Threaten immigrants and minorities that they would have immigration authorities called on them if they did not pay. Worse, they would pretend to be immigration officers.
  • Calling approximately 10 of the neighbors of the person with the debt and telling them they had stolen from them. Worse, they would ask the neighbors to go the debtor’s home and make the debtor call the debt collector. The debt collectors jokingly call this a “block party”. Similarly, they would throw an “office party” by doing the same thing with the debtor’s co-workers.
  • Explaining how to solicit prosition and sell drugs to get money to make a payment.
  • Asking the person with debt to write a check with a later date on it, which is illegal to write. Then, threaten the blackmail the consumer for writing a bad check.

Debt Collector Harassment Motives and How to Defend Yourself

All these debt collector harassment techniques are gross examples of how the concern for the well being of a person with debt is sacrificed for the debt collectors greed. The debt collectors are encouraged to collect by financial incentives such as higher pay and bonuses. So, if you are experiencing any of these techniques of debt collector harassment, contact an FDCPA attorney or law firm like Paramount Law and find out how to make them STOP, and you may be entitled to have the debt removed and make the debt collector pay you instead!


Man on Cell Phone Photograph by Alon, profile on
Photographs are under Creative Commons License.
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