Dealing with debt collectors is not anyone’s idea of a good time. This is true even for people whose debt collectors abide by the law. Unfortunately, not every debt collector does. Some will resort to manipulative or harmful tactics to get what they want.
Harassment is one well-known example of this. But debt collector misrepresentation is a big potential issue, too. It is also prohibited by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
Misrepresentation vs. harassment
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau discusses debt collector misrepresentation and how it impacts those in debt. It differs from harassment in several ways, the primary one being the overall goal of misrepresentation versus harassment.
Many harassing debt collectors use these tactics to bully, scare or intimidate you into compliance. Misrepresentation often aims to gain compliance too, but does so through trickery and deceit instead of outright threats and frightening behaviors.
False claims and misleading information
For example, a debt collector engaging in misrepresentation might not call multiple times to harass you. Instead, they may make false claims that they are also an attorney and threaten you with legal action that they cannot actually take. They may also make threats about getting you arrested or evicted even if they do not have an arrest warrant or have not made contact with law enforcement.
Another form of misrepresentation comes in with the amount you owe. Some collectors will misrepresent this number in an attempt to make your situation seem more dire, hoping to prompt you into immediate action.
If you believe a debt collector has misrepresented themselves or other information, you can act against it under the FDCPA. Consider contacting legal help to learn more.