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What To Do If You're Harassed By Your Creditors

What To Do If You're Harassed By Your Creditors

Debt collectors are annoying, but you do not have to put up with them harassing you. Federal law protects consumers from the unfair practices of debt collectors. You are already in an unpleasant situation, and you are aware that you have debts. You do not need someone disrupting your life any further. For help in resolving debt collector harassment, contact an experienced bankruptcy attorney as soon as possible. You do not necessarily even have to file for bankruptcy. A reliable bankruptcy attorney will be able to stop harassment, explain the alternatives to bankruptcy and recommend a course of action that best suits your situation.

Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is the most powerful weapon in an attorney's arsenal for stopping creditor harassment. This federal law covers all consumers and all types of debt collectors. It does not help if a creditor is harassing you directly, but fortunately, most creditors do not do their own dirty work. At the very least, your creditors will use a separate collections department within the company, and those departments must adhere to the FDCPA.

What Debts Are Covered by the FDCPA?

The FDCPA protects you from consumer debt collectors. The law excludes business debt, but it covers all of the following types of consumer debt:

  • Mortgages
  • Auto loans
  • Personal loans
  • Credit card debt
  • Medical bills
  • Most other forms of consumer debt

Your Rights as a U.S. Consumer

The FDCPA affords you very specific rights as a U.S. consumer. However, debt collectors sometimes ignore these rights, and it can be difficult to enforce them without the help of a bankruptcy attorney. The FDCP protects you by regulating what actions debt collectors may not take. If debt collectors engage in any of the following behaviors, they face stiff penalties imposed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC):

  • Calling before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m.
  • Calling your workplace after being asked to stop
  • Contacting you to collect a debt after notifying them in writing to stop
  • Contacting you directly after your attorney informs them you have legal representation
  • Using threats or profanity
  • Informing others about your debt
  • Calling anonymously or under a false identity