If you count yourself among the many Americans who are struggling in the face of overwhelming credit card debt, you may find yourself on the receiving end of what you might consider harassing phone calls and collection methods. If you are behind on your credit card payments, you can expect that these calls and efforts to reach you will continue, but there are certain rules your creditors must abide by when trying to collect on your debt.
For example, when trying to collect money from you, debt collectors cannot lawfully:
Call you at certain hours
By law, debt collectors may not contact you by phone before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. If they do, then they are in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and you may be able to hold them accountable.
Lie to you
Debt collectors also cannot lie to you and misrepresent who they are to try and collect your debt. For example, a caller cannot claim to be an attorney or law enforcement official if this is not, in fact, accurate. Similarly, they cannot make false claims about preparing to arrest you or garnish your property.
Contact you at work if advised not to do so
If debt collectors cannot reach you at home, they may try and do so at your place of employment. However, if you give them notice, whether by phone or in writing, that you cannot receive such contact while on the job, they must cease doing so. If they continue to contact you at your place of business after receiving such a notification, they are in violation of the FDCPA.
Regrettably, many companies do engage in unfair and unlawful debt collection practices. If you are receiving harassing calls from a creditor or debt collector and he or she is using any of these illegal tactics, you may be able to hold him or her, or their place of employment, accountable.