Defending Yourself Against Debt Collectors
Debt collectors can become aggressive with their collection tactics. Sometimes they push too hard or cross the lines of legal collection procedures. When this happens, many people have no idea that their rights are being violated. Even if something seems to violate the rights of the individual, oftentimes it is not clear as to what can be done in defense against it. Rest assured, there are ways to counteract any unsanctioned collection methods enacted against you by any debt collector. Here are some of the ways you can protect yourself against unlawful debt collectors.
Harassment or Abuse
If a debt collector engages in any action that is considered harassment or abuse, then the act and the collector are in direct violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). This act was created to make clear the limits a debt collector has when interacting with the general public in regards to a collection. Acts that are categorized as harassment or abuse can include calling too often or calling before or after an appropriate hour. Calling too often within a short period of time would also be considered harassment.
There are instances when a debt collector may become volatile and belligerent towards you. Under the FDCPA, the use of profanity, vulgarity, or any abusive language is strictly prohibited. Many people take to recording their interactions with debt collectors to have evidence of any wrongful practices. You can let the debt collector know they are being recorded which might result in proper behavior. You can even have another person present when you speak with a debt collector as a witness.
Even though you may owe a debt, it does not give debt collectors the right to treat you without respect. Dealing with a debt collector can be a stressful experience for anyone with outstanding debt. Harassment and abuse are two things that no one should have to endure in any form. There is no wrong in requesting fair treatment from debt collectors if you feel a debt collector is being unscrupulous.
Other Illegal Practices
Debt collectors can do other things to you to violate the FDCPA aside from using foul language or calling too often. There are times when these alternate, illegal practices happen without you even knowing they should not be allowed to happen. Many of these practices involve actions outside of the conversation debt collectors would have normally with you.
In any form communication, a debt collector cannot misrepresent themselves to you. Also, a debt collector cannot misrepresent the amount you owe for a debt or any other legal fact about said debt. A debt collector must be completely truthful when relaying any information about your debt to you. If they are not altogether forthcoming, legal action can be taken against them.
A debt collector can also treat you unfairly by not allowing you to settle the debt in question. If you choose to send in a payment. A debt collector can choose to illegally withhold your given payment in order to prolong the amount of time you are delinquent. This can include postdated checks. Purposely causing your payments to be received later than intended is considered an illegal act by the FDCPA.
What Can You Do Against Debt Collectors?
When dealing with debt collectors, there may be a feeling of apprehension. You may not know how to approach the subject of a debt collector in violation of your rights. Do not be fooled into thinking there is nothing you can do about the situation. In many instances, you can ask to speak to the manager on duty and report the unfair practice in that method. You might be able to have the situation rectified by dealing with another collection agent.
In the event that you feel legal action is necessary, it is not uncommon to seek professional help against unlawful debt collection agencies or agents. As the FDCPA is a federal law, you might be able to seek legal retribution. Getting in contact with an attorney can help to clarify what you are entitled to. Being threatened with imprisonment or arrest is also an offense you are protected against.
As mentioned earlier, being able to prove the wrongful act is the only way to ensure action in your favor. Keeping any threatening or otherwise illegal documents that have been sent to you (either by email or regular mail), recording any incriminating phone conversations, or simply having a witness present when the act occurs, is more than enough to make sure you will be heard.
Just because you’re in debt, doesn’t mean you’re not worthy of respect. Debt collectors are meant to be kept in the bounds of their position by the FDCPA. If you’re dealing with sizeable amounts of debts, consider looking to professional help to settle your past due amounts. Guardian Debt Relief specializes in helping people achieve their goal of debt freedom through debt settlement. Give us a call and let us help put an end to those pesky debt collectors by putting you on the road to debt elimination. Take the first step and contact Guardian Debt Relief today.