Having to struggle to pay bills is difficult enough without having to worry about creditors harassing Chicago debtors in different ways. Unfortunately, creditors often make repetitive phone calls that can turn abusive, they threaten debtors with violence, use profane language and publish lists of people who refuse to pay their bills. What many debtors may not know is that this form of creditor harassment is prohibited under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. According to the law, they cannot oppress or abuse either the debtor or anyone else they contact.
Collectors are also prohibited from using misleading practices or deceiving debtors. This means collectors cannot mislead debtors about the amount of money owed, that the creditor is an attorney when they are not or threaten to have someone arrested when they cannot. Creditors cannot contact debtors’ family members or their colleagues at work and may also call during specific times only. They also cannot indicate on an envelope of correspondence that they are a debt collector and they cannot use post cards to communicate about a debt.
Options for fighting back against creditor harassment
If debtors are being harassed by creditors, it would be a good idea to keep a record of all the letters and communication they have received. This might even mean writing down the time and duration of phone calls and what was discussed during the calls. This might help if there is a dispute with a debt collector.
Those overwhelmed by their debt may not know that they have debt relief options available to them in the form of bankruptcy. Depending on their individual circumstances, debtors might be eligible for Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy and it might benefit them to speak to an experienced attorney to discuss their options.