With much of the country shut down because of the Covid virus, many people are finding it difficult to pay their bills. Businesses are shutting down and folks are out of work. During times like these, bill collectors will work overtime to get their money. But what can you do if they begin harassing you?
Harassment can come in many forms, including:
- Repetitious phone calls designed to annoy you
- Obscene language
- Threats of violence
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act says that a collector who is doing any of these things is breaking the law.
Bill collectors are required to identify themselves to you when inquiring about what you owe to any company. They may not publish your name unless they are reporting your debt to a proper collections agency.
It is a good idea to keep a file of all letters or documents a debit collector sends you and copies of anything you send to a debt collector. Write down dates and times of conversations along with notes about what you discussed. Records may be of help if you meet with a lawyer or end up in court.
If you feel that you are being harassed by a collections company, you can submit an online complaint and you can also contact your state’s attorney general. Misrepresentations by a collector are also against the law and include:
- The amount owed
- That the person is an attorney if they are not
- Threats to do things that are illegal
- False threats to have you arrested
- Threats to do things that the debt collector has no intention of doing
You can also sue the debt collector for violations of the FDCPA. If you sue under the act and win, the debt collector may be liable for your legal fees and any damages.
If you have questions about harassment by a debt collector, please consult our Online Legal Directory to find an attorney in your area.