No debt collector has the right to harass you, even if you owe the debt. Federal law prohibits a wide range of common harassing debt collection techniques. For example, debt collectors are prohibited from:
- Calling you about a debt without first sending you a letter identifying themselves and the debt they are collecting;
- Calling others (including family members and neighbors) about your debt;
- Collecting any debt you don’t owe;
- Calling you at odd hours, multiple times per week or any other form of phone harassment;
- Threatening you with legal action which they can’t take (for example, threatening to garnish wages where there has been no suit brought against you);
- Lying to you;
- Reporting false information to credit bureaus;
- Any other action which is harassing, dishonest or unfair.
You also have important rights when dealing with a collector (even if you owe the debt), including:
- The right to demand in writing that you not be contacted by phone;
- The right to dispute the debt and demand verifying information;
- The right to demand that you not be contacted at work;
- The right to sue a debt collector for violating you rights;
Violating debt collectors are liable to you for the damages they cause and must pay your attorney if a lawsuit is brought. For decades we have successfully sued debt collectors for violating consumer rights. If violations have occurred, we can take your case for no upfront cost. Our fee is paid only if you win and it’s paid from what you recover from the debt collector that violated your rights.
If you believe you’ve been a victim of abuse, or just want advice on how to deal with a debt collector, call us for a free debt collection consultation. We’ll explain the legal protections available for your specific situation, let you know if you have the right to sue the collector for damages and provide guidance on how best to deal with the situation.