It’s easy to feel powerless in the face of collection activity. Confusing letters, intimidating voicemails and seemingly complicated legal notices might lead you to pay whatever is being asked of you or cause you to ignore the matter altogether. However, debt collectors aren’t as untouchable as they may seem—you have rights and they have certain rules they have to follow. Read on to learn more about the most common illegal debt collection tactics and what you can do if you find yourself on the receiving end.
Top Debt Collection Attempts
There are many ways in which debt collectors can try to collect money from consumers. Some of the top attempts are:
- attempts to collect amounts people said they didn’t owe;
- illegal letters;
- inappropriate communication;
- threats to take negative or legal actions;
- false representations;
- and improperly involving a third party in collection activities.
Just because a debt collector says you owe money, does not mean that is always true. There are numerous explanations for being mistakenly or improperly asked to pay a debt you don’t owe. For example, you cleared the debt through bankruptcy proceedings, already paid it off, or the debt belongs to someone else.
Excessive Contact from Debt Collectors
Excessive phone calls and being contacted at odd hours could be grounds for harassment charges. Companies are also prohibited from using aggressive language to pressure and try and scare you into paying the debt.
The FDCPA also prohibits debt collectors from threatening to take any action they cannot legally take. They also legally can’t suggest that not paying the balance could land you in jail (it can’t) or falsely threaten to submit the debt to credit reporting agencies.
What Can I Do?
If you feel as if you have been on the wrong end of an illegal debt collection attempt, Maginnis Howard’s FDCPA attorneys would like to speak with you. Our FDCPA attorneys offer free initial consultations regarding FDCPA claims. We also handle all FDCPA cases on a contingency-fee basis.
To discuss your FDCPA claim, contact our firm at 919-526-0450. You may also send any questions or inquiries you have about the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act, or any other consumer protections laws, through our contact page.