You work long days at UPS, FedEx, JP Morgan Chase Bank or at any of Will County’s other places of employment. Sometimes, however, the daily nine-to-five grind is simply not enough to make ends meet. Before too long you cannot pay your bills and you are facing distressing calls from debt collectors.
You cannot squeeze water from a stone, and it may seem like once debt collectors start calling you have no other options. However, you do have rights against harassment or false statements made by debt collectors. The following is an overview of these rights.
Can debt collectors harass you?
Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), debt collectors are prohibited from harassing debtors. Debt collectors cannot call you repeatedly with the intention of annoying or harassing you. Debt collectors cannot use curse words when talking to you. Debt collectors cannot threaten to hurt you. Debt collectors can report your delinquencies to credit reporting companies but otherwise cannot make public that you are not paying what you owe. Debt collectors also must identify themselves when they call you. If a debt collector violates the FDCPA, you may have grounds for a lawsuit.
Can debt collectors lie to you?
The FDCPA also prohibits debt collectors from making misrepresentations. This means they cannot lie about how much you owe. They cannot say they are a lawyer if they are not. They cannot threaten to have you arrested or threaten to do other illegal activities. Finally, they cannot threaten to do something they do not intend to do.
You have rights if a debt collector calls you
You do not have to fall victim to a debt collector’s threats and lies. You have rights against debt collector harassment. With the right help you can address your debt in a constructive way, whether it is through debt consolidation, a repayment plan or filing for bankruptcy.