Overwhelming debt is a rising problem in Illinois. With the past year being so difficult with job loss, medical bills, problems keeping up with various payments and other challenges, people are faced with significant worry. Compounding these issues is the increasingly aggressive attempts on the part of creditors and debt collectors to receive payment. People should be cognizant of the law regulating debt collector behavior and what steps can be taken to put a stop to harassing phone calls.
Communication and creditor harassment
There are laws against creditor harassment, but some entities whose profits are predicated on collecting payment will find ways to skirt the law or be unashamed to break it outright. Many debtors, already fearful about their circumstances, will simply ignore the endless contact or even surrender to it. The Federal Trade Commission has rules in place under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) to regulate this contact, but it is imperative for debtors to exercise their rights.
Repeated phone calls are a common source of harassment. Of course, creditors are legally able to contact debtors, but there are limits. It is vital to be aware of when phone calls cross the line into creditor harassment. The debt collector cannot call whenever they want. The calls cannot start before 8 a.m. or continue after 9 p.m. Once it is known that the debtor has legal representation, the debt collector can no longer call anyone apart from the attorney except in unusual circumstances such as being unable to acquire the attorney’s contact information.
Calling the debtor at his or her place of employment is another tactic the creditor or debt collector might use to simultaneously seek to collect on the debt and cause the person embarrassment and foster a negative image in front of an employer and colleagues. If it is known that the employer does not allow this form of communication, the debt collector cannot call the person at work.
Having professional representation can help with creditor harassment
Creditor harassment is illegal. Putting a stop to the unceasingly aggressive phone calls is one aspect of using the FDCPA as it was intended. Still, people who are dealing with debt may allow these calls to continue unabated, unsure of how to respond. Seeking help from professionals who are aware of strategies used by debt collectors and creditors can put an end to the harassment and guide people on the road to finding solutions to their financial problems.