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Debt Collector and Creditor Harassment

Debt Collector and Creditor Harassment

You can fight back against, and stop, debt collector and creditor harassment.

When collection agencies or bill collectors are harassing you over a debt that you don’t owe (invalid, inaccurate or outdated) or they are harassing you over a valid debt but using illegal tactics, use the FDCPA to protect yourself.

The Fair Debt Collection Practiced Act prohibits “any conduct the natural consequence of which is to harass, oppress, or abuse any person in connection with the collection of a debt, [including]”:

(1) The use or threat of use of violence or other criminal means to harm the physical person, reputation, or property of any person.

(2) The use of obscene or profane language or language the natural consequence of which is to abuse the hearer or reader.

(3) The publication of a list of consumers who allegedly refuse to pay debts, except to a consumer reporting agency or to persons meeting the requirements of the section 1681a(f) or 1681b(3) of this title.

(4) The advertisement for sale of any debt to coerce payment of the debt.

(5) Causing a telephone to ring or engaging any person in telephone conversation repeatedly or continuously with intent to annoy, abuse, or harass any person at the called number.

(6) Except as provided in section 1692b of this title, the placement of telephone calls without meaningful disclosure of the caller’s identity.

If you believe you are a victim of harassing or otherwise unfair or illegal debt collection tactics, submit your information to a FREE* Fair Debt Lawyer.  You can click here for a FREE* Fair Debt Case Review or call toll free 888-FDCPA-LAW (888-332-7252). The debt collector may just be liable to you for statutory damages of up to $1,000, plus any actual damages suffered, plus attorney fees. 

For more  information about stopping debt collection harassment and threatening phone calls at home and work,see Stopping Harassing phone calls and letters and Stopping harassing email.

“Creditor” Harassment versus “Debt Collector” Harassment

Creditors often establish their own in-house collections department. People working in these internal collection departments are considered employees of the creditor and, because they are collecting on behalf of the creditor, are exempt from the FDCPA. This means there are differences in creditor harassment versus debt collector harassment.

However, that does not mean they are exempt from following other laws such as a state creditor collection law. In  fact, many states have creditor collection laws or state fair debt collection practices acts and other laws that are more strict than the FDCPA and that provide additional recovery/relief. Creditors must also still  obey several other consumer protection laws such as the Uniform Commercial Code, other federal credit laws and state banking regulations.

For more information about the differences between creditors and debt collectors see official definition of creditors and collectors.

Use these free instructions for dealing with creditors.

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