Are you a victim of creditor harassment?

Creditors are notoriously persistent when it comes to attempting to collect from borrowers. This is only exacerbated if you fall behind on payments of go into default on the debt. While it is legal and reasonable for creditors to contact you and initiate a discussion, there are certain standards that prevent them from taking actions that may qualify as harassment. The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act outlines these regulations in detail. If you have experienced any of these four issues, you may be a victim of creditor harassment.

Contacting neighbors or employer

Some debt collectors have been known to contact neighbors and employers in attempts to collect on debts, but it is prohibited for them to reveal the nature of the inquiry or indicate you owe debt in doing so. The only legal circumstance in which a creditor may contact other people regarding your debt is if you had previously provided a person's contact information as a reference or co-signer and the credit has been unable to get in touch with you. In this situation, they may reach out to other people in an attempt to clarify your whereabouts.

Calling at unreasonable hours

There are also strict regulations on when it is permissible for a collector to contact you. Nobody wants to be awakened at one in the morning, and if a creditor does so, this could qualify as an intimidation tactic. Unless you have indicated otherwise, creditors are expected to contact you only between the hours of eight in the morning and nine at night.

Refusing to reveal identity

Any creditor who contacts you must immediately reveal her or his identity upon request. Failure to do so may constitute deception, and debtors are always entitled to know who contacts them. When you receive a call regarding collection, the caller should readily divulge who she or his is calling for, the reason for the call, a personal name and her or his employer's name.

Making threats

In some extreme cases, creditors have attempted to extract payments and agreements from debtors by invoking a range of threats. Though most would not be applicable, a creditor may bring up the loss of welfare benefits, child custody arrangements or employment as potential motivators for making a payment on the debt. This is wholly unethical and prohibited, however, and certainly amounts to harassment.

If you are feeling overwhelmed by debt, there is help available to provide relief. Contacting an attorney can help you better understand these options.

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Prescott Pearson & Tande, PA
443 Old Highway 8 Northwest, Suite 208
New Brighton, MN 55112

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