How to Deal with Debt Collectors

Debt in itself is terrible enough, but having debt collectors constantly call you can overwhelm you with severe stress. You may owe thousands on your credit card or tens of thousands on student loans—but that doesn’t mean you should be subjected to harassment. While persistent attempts to collect from you are legal, debt collector harassment is against the law. If debt collectors are calling you and crossing the line, there are legal actions you can take to stop the harassment.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

Enacted in 1977, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) protects consumers from debt collector harassment by prohibiting certain behaviors, including:

  • Calling at unreasonable hours
  • Failing to cease communication upon request
  • Threatening arrest or legal action
  • Calling at work
  • Using abusive or profane language
  • Repeatedly calling
  • Communicating with consumers after they have filed bankruptcy
  • Calling a consumer with an attorney

Steps to Take After Debt Collector Harassment

If you’re being harassed by a debt collector, the first thing to do is write them a letter and demand they stop contacting you. Under the FDCPA, they must obey your request. Make sure to document all illegal behavior. Pennsylvania runs under the “two-party consent” law, so it is a crime to record phone calls unless all parties to the communication consent. For this reason, you might want to consider having another person present during your phone calls.

Next, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. Include the collection agency’s name and address, the original creditor, the dates and times of all communications, witnesses names, and copies of any evidence you may have. It would also be a good idea to send a complaint to your state’s agency that deals with creditor harassment.

Finally, you can sue the debt collector. The FDCPA is a strict liability law, which means you do not have to prove any actual damages. You can be awarded compensation simply because the debt collector violated the law. If you can prove damages, such as having to switch numbers or mental health-related costs, you can recover compensation as well.

If you need help with debt collector harassment, please contact our Philadelphia debt collector defense attorney at The Law Offices of Michael P. Forbes. Contact us today to discuss the legal options you can potentially take against a creditor.

Call (610) 991-3321 for a free case evaluation.
Related Posts
  • How the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) Can Help You Read More
  • FIA Card Services Lawsuits: What You Can Do Read More
  • Have You Been Sued by FIA Card Services in Pennsylvania? Read More