Fighting Back Against Harassing Calls from Debt Collectors

If you have ever been behind on your bills, you have no doubt experienced the collection call.  If you have ever been really far behind in your bills, these calls are a regular part of daily life…sometimes too regular.
In addition to their frequency, collection calls have quite an unsavory reputation for content.  In many ways, this reputation is well deserved.  In these difficult times collection agencies are being particularly aggressive in pursuing debtors.  After all, they are usually paid according to what payments they bring in. 
How would you like to turn the tables on those abusive debt collectors, and make them pay you instead of you paying them?  Debt collectors are strictly regulated in how, when and with what they can contact debtors.  Unfortunately, violations of those regulations are rarely pursued because many debtors do not know their rights.  But, finish reading this post and you will learn a little about the FDCPA. 

A debtor who knows his or her rights can go a long way in getting collection agencies to back off, and if needed, obtain a money judgment against the collection agency.  Here are some of the basics from the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA"):

  1. No Harassment or Abuse: 
  • NO threats of violence or harm to person, reputation or property
  • NO abusive, obscene, or profane language
  • NO abusive phone use (conversations or ringing)
  • Collector MUST disclose their identity
  1. No False Statements:
  • as to the character, amount or legal status of the debt
  • that the collector is an attorney
  • that the collector is a government representative
  • that the collector is affiliated with a Credit Bureau
  • that the debtor has committed a crime
  1. No Unfair Practices:
  • NO interest, late fees or collection charges unless authorized by original debt or allowed by law
  • NO acceptance, solicitation or depositing of post-dated checks to create prosecution
  • NO nonjudicial dispossession of property unless legal
  • NO collection language or symbols on envelopes
  • NO collect calls, telegram charges or postcards

The bottom line: a collection caller cannot say anything he or she could not say in front of a judge.  If collection agencies have crossed the line, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act provides for compensation to the targeted debtor.
Here is an easy to read version of the law.  If you feel that you have been the target of illegal harassment by collection agencies, contact our Chandler, Arizona bankruptcy lawyer office for a free consultation to determine what remedies are available to you.  Just use the "Quick Contact" form on the right or call (480) 802-4647.