When Debt Collectors Take Their Pursuit of Payments Too Far
The goal of a debt collection agency is to get back as much money as they can from those who owe. Such an agency may use a variety of strategies to get payments from consumers in debt. But, some of these methods can actually be illegal, in which the consumer may be able to take legal action for the harassment. A debt collection agency may make late night phone calls to intentionally disturb the consumer’s sleep, contact their workplace, or even make empty threats. A debt collection agency may make a consumer feel like a criminal for not having paid off the debt yet. It is important to speak to a local bankruptcy lawyer for help.
Eventually, a consumer may wonder if a debt collection agency has taken their pursuit of payments way too far. In some cases, a consumer may be entitled to financial compensation for the harassment.
How do I know whether what the debt collector is doing is illegal?
The best way to find out if the calls, emails and letters you are receiving are illegal, is to meet with an attorney who is knowledgeable on the topic. When meeting with an attorney, bring phone records, voicemail recordings, letters, and anything else that shows exactly how many times you were contacted. Here are other examples of how a debt collection agency may be violating your rights or being misleading:
- Demanding the consumer pays more than the amount owed
- Making multiple calls per day to the consumer’s cell and/or home line
- Continuing to contact the consumer even after a cease communication notice is sent to the agency
- Making phone calls so early or late in the night, to intentionally disturb the consumer
- Threatening that actions will be taken if the consumer does not submit a payment
- Using language that is degrading, unprofessional, profane and/or abusive
- Contacting a third party to try and get more information about you
- Calling the workplace to get in touch with the consumer about the debt
- Ignoring consumer’s attempts to get the harassment to stop
- Disregarding the consumer’s wishes to have the debts verified
When should I meet with a bankruptcy lawyer about the harassment?
A consumer may get to the point where they receive more than just a couple calls every day from a debt collection agency. A consumer may finally decide to meet with an attorney when they realize they are unable to tackle this alone. A consumer can feel conflicted about how to respond, because they may in fact owe the amount the debt collection agency claims.
When the contact becomes relentless, aggressive and frequent enough to disturb the consumer’s life, then it may be time for legal intervention. A bankruptcy lawyer such as Oklahoma City Bankruptcy Attorney can help the consumer devise a plan to finally get the debt collection agency off his or her back. Trying to fight a large debt collection agency on one’s own may not prove successful. Sometimes, it takes legal assistance for an agency to finally give in and halt the harassing behavior. An agency is probably going to stop such contact if they are at risk for having to pay the consumer financial compensation for their actions.