Harassment by a debt collector can take several forms, including repetitive and excessive interactions over one or more channels with the intent to annoy or harass you.
Debt collector harassment
When debt collectors harass, oppress, or abuse you, they violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
It is considered harassment when debt collectors:
- Make repeated phone calls or utilize electronic communications – such as text, email, and social media messaging – with the intent of harassing, oppressing, or abusing you or anyone else.
- Use vulgar or indecent language.
- Make a threat of violence or injury.
- Lists of those who refuse to pay their obligations (this does not include submitting information to a credit reporting bureau) could be made public.
- Call you without introducing themselves.
Debt collectors’ misrepresentations
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act also prohibits debt collectors from engaging in false, dishonest, or misleading practices. This involves deceptions concerning the debt, such as:
- The total amount owed
- If the debt collector is not an attorney, they are making false threats to have you jailed.
- Threatening to do things that are not lawful.
- Threatening to do things that the debt collector has no intention of doing.
Federal rules prohibit debt collectors from making repeated phone calls:
There are two important federal regulations that specifically prohibit debt collectors from continually calling a customer throughout the day. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) are two forms of legislation designed to help consumers be protected from creditor harassment. Furthermore, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently adopted a “Debt Collection Rule,” which specifies the number of calls deemed excessive.
The number of times a debt collector can contact you before it is deemed harassment:
The CFPB’s recently formed Debt Collection Rule states that if a debt collector contacts more than seven times in seven days to try to collect on a debt, they are in violation of the law and harassing you.
However, the CFPB’s new Debt Collection Rule contains a significant legal gap: it only applies to phone calls. This implies that a debt collector can still contact you by email, text message, social media, and in person without restriction. However, there are also federal statutes that provide protection in certain situations.
Debt collectors are forbidden by the FDCPA from engaging in harassing, oppressive, or abusive behavior towards consumers. Furthermore, the FDCPA states that having your phone ring repeatedly or continuously throughout the day in order to annoy, harass, threaten, or abuse you is a breach of this statutory limitation.
The following are particular considerations that a judge may consider when considering whether a debt collector “repeatedly and continuously” phoned you to the point of harassment:
- After getting a legal cease and desist notice, a debt collector contacts you.
- After knowing that you have legal representation, a debt collector contacts you.
- A debt collector calls you at your place of business.
- During the calls, the debt collector is rude and threatens you.
- Repeated calls in a limited time frame.
What exactly does Landmark Legal do?
Debt collectors may be easily defeated with the help of LandmarkLegal.
Landmark Legal may be utilized to respond to a debt litigation, send letters to collectors, and even settle a debt.
Landmark Legal will have a third party law firm review your case and determine if a debt collector has been harassing you. Landmark Legal has assisted clients in winning millions in FDCPA and CFPB cases.