Categories: Blog

Concrete examples: what counts as harassment by a debt collector?

Consumers have the legal right to prevent collection agencies from harassing them in attempts to collect a debt. The debt collection agencies must follow state and federal laws when contacting the debtor. If the agencies violate these laws, the debtor may have a civil or criminal case against the debt collection agencies.

Calling All Day and Night to Collect the Debt

Current laws prohibit debt collectors from calling the debtor’s home before 8 am or after 8 pm. If the debt collector calls the debtor before or after these limited hours it is considered harassment. However, the debt collections cannot call the debitor’s home numerous times throughout the day.

If they call every hour on the hour because they didn’t get an answer is still harassment. The agencies can call and leave a message, and the debtor is fully aware that they received the call. Debitors that are receiving persistent calls or calls after the legal hours visit for help.

Calling the Debtor After a Cease and Desist Letter

Consumers who do not want to receive any phone calls from the collection agency send a letter to the agency. A cease and desist letter can explain to the debt collector that the debtor doesn’t wish to receive any phone calls. If the collection agency continues to call after they have received this letter, the debtor can file a harassment claim against them.

Visiting the Debtor’s Home or Place of Employment

Collection agencies and their workers are not permitted to visit a debtor’s home or workplace in person. In-person visits are harassment, and the collection agency and its workers do not have any legal reason to show up at these locations. If a worker from the collection agency appears at the debitor’s home or workplace, the debitor can contact law enforcement and have the worker arrested for harassment and file harassment reports against the agency.

Contacting the Debitor’s Relatives or Friends

The law prohibits the debt collection agency from calling any numbers outside of the contact number provided by the debtor. When setting up the account with the original creditor, the debits provide contact information. Unless the debtor provides a new contact number voluntarily, the debt collector cannot call any other numbers to reach the debtor. They cannot call the debitor’s relatives or friends to discuss the debt or demand a return call.

Abusive Language or Threats

The debt collection agency does not have the legal right to use any abusive language, profanity, or to threaten the debtor. They cannot threaten bodily harm or legal action to collect the debts. If a debt collection agency threatens the debtor in any way, the debtor has the legal right to file charges against the collection agency for harassment. Threats of bodily harm or any criminal acts are unlawful, and the worker or the agency could face criminal charges for the incidents.

Consumers have legal rights against harassment, and they do not have to accept these negative behaviors from creditors or debt collections. While the agencies have the right to collect the debts, there are laws that prevent these agencies from calling the consumers during odd hours and calling excessively. The agencies must follow strict guidelines when trying to collect the debts, or the consumer has the right to get an attorney and take action against the collection agencies.

Emily Jones

Hi, I am Emily, mother of two beautiful children. Passionate about fashion and design I went to a school art. Never practiced except school projects, but dedicated my life being a full-time mother. During my first pregnancy I discovered a fashion group and started writing about my first love, design in fashion. I like writing about things I know and I love. Here I am, trying to share my thoughts about love, being a mother, art, fashion, raising children, cuisine and lifestyle.

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