The debt collection abuse lawyers at Vullings Law Group, LLC are dedicated to protecting consumers’ rights in the areas of credit, collections, and reporting. When you’re ready to fight back against harassing debt collectors, talk to us. Explain your situation in the contact form on this page, or call us at 1-855-324-7263.
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State and federal laws – such as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) – safeguard consumers from deceptive or abusive debt collectors. According to the FDCPA, collection agencies are required to pay your reasonable attorney’s fees for successful claims. At the Vullings Law Group, LLC, consumers pay nothing even if their claims are unsuccessful.
Abusive debt collection practices are a source of stress for millions of Americans each year. While many consumers feel that they must put up with the abuse because they are unable to repay their debts, the fact is that there are laws protecting consumers against harassment from collection agencies and collection attorneys. An experienced debt collection abuse attorney can help you fight against collectors who use abusive practices, including phone calls during specific times, phone calls to family and friends, profane or obscene language, and threats.
Debt Collection Abuse
How can an attorney help stop the debt collection abuse when collectors are harassing you? There are laws that protect consumers against harassment, but collection agencies that use abusive practices often ignore these laws when they are trying to make contact with a debtor. You may write letters or make phone calls reminding these collectors that they are acting inappropriately, but many do not take these notices seriously until a licensed attorney is involved.
Collection agencies often assume that people who are not being represented by an attorney are not knowledgeable about their rights related to debt collection practices. The fact that stopping the harassment is a process that requires several steps also hinders consumers who decide to try to stop the abuse on their own.
If you are still unsure about whether an attorney helping to stop debt collection abuse is right for you, consider that a legal professional may be able to do all of the following on your behalf:
- Send a letter requesting that the creditor end all communication with the debtor
- Ask for the creditor to provide proof that the debtor owes the debt
- File a lawsuit if the creditor fails to stop harassing the debtor
- Keep track of harassing phone calls, letters, emails or text messages
- Gain access to phone records to prove that a creditor has been harassing a debtor
- Determine whether a creditor has used abusive collection practices in the past
Debt Collection Laws
There are laws in place that protect consumers against abusive practices used by some debt collectors. These laws are intended to allow consumers to maintain their quality of life, despite owing a debt. No one should have to deal with constant harassment that goes on for weeks, months or even years just because they made a poor financial decision in the past.
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) safeguards consumers against abusive collection practices by prohibiting certain actions and giving consumers recourse if they are subjected to harassment. The FDCPA still allows creditors to attempt to recover debts that are owed, but creditors must avoid prohibited conduct in these attempts.
Consumers who feel that they are being harassed by creditors should learn more about prohibited practices in order to determine if they have any recourse. Prohibited conduct according to the FDCPA includes:
- Calling a debtor between the hours of 9 p.m. and 8 a.m.
- Continuing to contact a debtor after receiving a request to cease communication
- Intentionally causing a nuisance by calling a phone number for a debtor and letting the line ring continuously
- Contacting a debtor at their place of employment after being asked not to do so by an employer
- Pretending to be a law enforcement officer when attempting to collect a debt
- Providing any type of false information related to the debt
- Making the debtor's identity public knowledge
- Charging unusually large fees or penalties in addition to the amount owed
- Claiming that the collection agency has the right to have the debtor arrested
- Using profane language when communicating with a debtor
- Attempting to embarrass the debtor by communicating with friends, family members or neighbors
- Sending false information to credit reporting agencies
Stopping Debt Collectors - What Constitutes Harassment?
Debt collectors are permitted to contact a debtor during certain times of the day, so it is possible that they are adhering to the regulations when they call you. Harassment includes situations in which the collector calls you repeatedly throughout the day. This even applies to phone calls made between the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.
Collectors are not permitted to use abusive or profane language, and debtors should never feel that a debt collector has threatened their safety. Callers who do not identify themselves are considered to be using abusive collection practices.
Collection agencies will sometimes lie to gather information, or make a debtor believe that they will be arrested because of a failure to pay. Using false information like this when contacting a debtor is considered harassment.
As noted above, collectors are also required to cease communication if you request that they do so. You must follow strict guidelines when making this request, so it is best to use the services of a debt collection abuse attorney. A successful request should result in an end to all communications. However, the collector is allowed to notify you if a lawsuit has been filed against you.