When you are in debt, you may feel many emotions, from shame to anxiety. It’s important to note that many Americans are in debt, so you’re not alone. One of the primary sources of stress for those in debt comes from communications with the debt collector assigned to your case. Unfortunately, many who are in collections do not know they have rights. If you are the victim of harassing or abusive communications, these are likely debt collector violations. The following blog explores what you must know about these circumstances and how a California debt collection harassment lawyer can help.
Are There Laws Debt Collectors Must Follow?
It’s important to understand that, unlike previous decades, consumers have many rights in the United States. Though debtor’s prisons were once common, they do not exist anymore, as consumers now have certain protections. One of the main shields comes in the form of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
The FDCPA governs how third-party debt collectors can behave when pursuing consumers for personal debts. It’s necessary to note these laws generally do not cover business-related debts or collectors from the original creditor.
What Are Common Debt Collector Violations?
The FDCPA outlines a number of common behaviors and actions by debt collectors that are prohibited. It’s essential to familiarize yourself with these behaviors to know if a violation has occurred. Common FDCPA violations include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Calling before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
- Repeatedly contacting you in a short period of time, such as ten phone calls in two days
- Contacting you at work after you have told them not to call while you are on the job
- Talking to anybody but you or your attorney about your debt
- Publically posting your name as a debtor
- Refusing to identify themselves
- Pretending to be a member of law enforcement or an attorney
- Threatening to sue you if they have no intention to do so
- Threatening to arrest you
- Using vulgar, abusive, or threatening language
What Should I Do if I’m a Victim?
In the event you are facing harassment from a debt collector, it’s crucial to understand your rights. First and foremost, the police cannot help you in these situations. However, if the collector verbally or physically threatens you or attempts to enter your home without permission, you should call the police.
To deal with a collector, you need experienced legal representation. Many are unfamiliar with the fact that they may be able to recover compensation for the damages they’ve suffered at the hands of an abusive collector. In fact, you may be able to recover up to $1,000 in statutory damages per FDCPA violation you’ve experienced.
You should not pursue justice alone. At Loker Law, we understand how difficult it can be to face harassment and abuse at the hands of a debt collector. That’s why our team is dedicated to fighting for you. Reach out today to learn how we can assist you during these difficult times.