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If I’m a Victim of Debt Collector Harassment, Do I Have Rights?

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Owing money can make it feel like there’s a constant weight on your shoulders. However, this pressure can only grow when you start getting contacted by a debt collector looking to obtain the funds they are owed. When these instances become more frequent, you can become increasingly overwhelmed. If you have been facing constant harassment from a debt collector, understanding your rights as a consumer is critical. The following blog and a California debt collection harassment lawyer can help you through these frustrating and challenging matters.

What Is Debt Collector Harassment?

When you are in debt, it can eventually get sent to collections. This occurs when the original debt offloads your debts to a third-party collection agency. As such, the original creditor is no longer responsible for pursuing the compensation.

Because a third party is now collecting the debt you owe, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) applies. These are a set of regulations that dictate how a collector can interact with consumers, generally prohibiting what behaviors are unacceptable. These outlawed behaviors include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Lying about their identity (pretending to be a lawyer or police officer)
  • Lying about the amount of money you owe
  • Calling debtors repeatedly in a short period of time
  • Calling outside of regulated hours (8 a.m. and 9 p.m.)
  • Publishing your name as a debtor
  • Disclosing your status as a debtor to anyone other than you or your attorney
  • Calling you at work
  • Using threatening or abusive language

If you are being harassed, the first thing you should do is ask the debt collector for a debt validation notice. This requires them to send a formal letter detailing the exact amount you owe and who the original creditor was. If they refuse to send you a validation letter, this is another FDCPA violation.

What Should I Do if I Have Been Harassed?

If you are facing harassment or have been the victim of FDCPA violations, the first thing you should do is send a cease and desist to the collection agency. They must stop all contact, with two exceptions – to let you know they received the cease and desist and again if they choose to pursue a lawsuit against you.

You should try to document all FDCPA violations you’ve been subjected to because of the creditor. Generally, you have a right to recover statutory damages (up to $1,000 per violation) and non-economic damages.

When you’ve been the victim of debt collector harassment, it’s imperative to connect with an experienced attorney. At Loker Law, our dedicated legal team will do everything possible to assist you through these complex times. Connect with us today to learn more about how we can assist you in recovering the compensation you are entitled to.

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