Use Debt Collection Law to Combat Debt Collector Threats
Debt collector threats can strike fear into the heart of the most stoic consumer. Although the federal debt collection law, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), prohibits a debt collector from threatening you, it doesn’t seem to stop them. Indeed, debt collectors have been known to threaten violence, threaten to take a person’s home, and threaten to have a person arrested. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to debt collector threats.
Debt collection law expressly forbids either the threat or use of violence to harm you, your reputation, or your property. So, for example, typical debt collector threats might be that they will foreclose on your house if you don’t pay up. However, unless you used your house, car, or other property as collateral for the particular debt for which the collector is trying to get payment, then it is against debt collection law for him or her to threaten to take or repossess that property. For example, if it’s a hospital bill or phone bill that they are collecting, they have no right to any property. Of course, this doesn’t include mortgages or car loans, which are secured by the property.
Other Types of Threats
As previously mentioned, debt collector threats take a number of forms. A debt collector may threaten to call your boss, threaten to have you arrested, threaten to hurt you, or threaten to take criminal action if you don’t give him post-dated checks. He may even threaten to deposit your post-dated checks earlier that he should. All of these behaviors are illegal under the FDCPA debt collection law.
How to Fight Back Against Threats
If you’ve been faced with debt collector threats, it’s important to fight back. First, keep a record of every conversation you have with the debt collector, and write down the ways in which he threatened you. This kind of documentation can help you establish that the debt collector violated debt collection law.
Second, write a cease and desist letter. Remember, a debt collector can’t contact anyone you know once you’ve told them to stop.
Third, contact a fair debt attorney. If the debt collection agency has violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, you may be entitled to actual damages, attorney fees, and up to $1,000. The legal team at Debt & Credit Lawyer will provide you with a free case evaluation, and will represent you free of charge if you’ve been the victim of embarrassing debt collection practices. Call 203-529-5100 to get help.
Finally, file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The CFPB is responsible for tracking FDCPA complaints about debt collector harassment. The Federal Trade Commission uses consumer complaints to detect patterns of abuse. Complaints like yours are the driving factor in lawsuits filed by the FTC against unethical debt collectors.