One of the many negative consequences associated with owing a significant amount of debt is experiencing a lot of contact from creditors. This may come in the form of phone calls, letters, bills and more. In some cases, contact from some creditors may go over the line, resulting in what is actually creditor harassment.
No matter how much debt you have, you do not have to endure creditor harassment. In fact, certain laws protect you against this type of treatment. If you have a lot of debt that you are unable to manage on your own, you are probably already facing a significant amount of financial stress. This only gets worse when you are constantly experiencing harassment from creditors. It's in your interests to learn about what qualifies as creditor harassment and how you can make it stop.
What do creditors have to do?
According to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, consumers have protection against certain types of behaviors from debt collectors. This means that third-party collectors have strict limits regarding what they can and cannot do. Some of the regulations debt collectors have to abide by include the following:
- Identify themselves when they call
- Tell you what creditor hired them to collect on the debt
- Give you proper notice if you have the right to dispute the debt
- Give you verification of the debt
These are basic principles for how debt collectors should act when interacting with consumers about their debts. However, the FDCPA also outlines the specific behaviors that are unacceptable and count as creditor harassment. These include:
- Threatening you with arrest or other types of legal action
- Calling you names or using inappropriate behavior
- Failing to stop calling you at work when you ask them to do so
- Calling you at unreasonable hours of the night
- Being deceptive or lying to the consumer
It may interest you to note that one thing debt collectors cannot do is continue to communicate with you if you secured the representation of a Tennessee attorney or filed for bankruptcy.
The automatic stay
When you file for bankruptcy, the automatic stay will go into effect. This means that all contact from creditors and debt collectors will halt, allowing you to follow the terms of your bankruptcy plan in peace. If you believe that bankruptcy is the right choice for your financial situation or you would like to learn more about how you can put a halt to creditor contact and harassment, you may want to start with a complete evaluation of your case.