The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) oversees the behavior of debt collectors while on the job. Most abide by good moral practices, but some may cross lines in order to get their money.
These behaviors either fall under the category of harassment or misrepresentation. Debt collector harassment often gets more press attention simply because of the potentially extreme methods that some turn to.
Behaviors considered harassing
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau examines behaviors considered debt collector harassment. When a debt collector harasses you, their end goal is to get you to pay back the debt you owe in any way you can. They may use coercive or outright threatening techniques to do so.
For example, a debt collector may use vulgar or violent language to intimidate you. They could threaten you or the other people living in your home with eviction, even if they do not have the legal means to follow through on this threat.
Repeated annoying or harmful behavior also falls under this category, like the classic tactic that involves calling a victim without identifying themselves or leaving messages. This repeated onslaught of calls happens all throughout the day and night, well past “polite” hours.
Some will even resort to physical intimidation tactics. For example, a debt collector may park their car outside of your property but within view of it. They then simply stay inside the car for hours, leaving you with the sensation of being watched.
These psychologically tormenting tactics can easily ruin your peace of mind. If you wish to seek protection under the FDCPA, consider seeking the aid of legal help.