When do debt collectors’ telephone calls constitute harassment?

On Behalf of | Sep 22, 2022 | personal bankruptcy |

Owing significant debt can be nerve-wracking and stoke fear in the debtor as to what the future holds. For Illinois residents who are simply trying to keep one step ahead of their creditors, their worry will be exacerbated by constant phone calls from debt collectors trying to extract some form of payment.

While it is legal for them to make some form of contact, if they go beyond a specific number of calls or violate other rules, it could be a legal violation. Debtors must remember they have rights and take the necessary steps to be legally protected.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and how it shields debtors from telephone harassment

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is designed to help debtors by stopping debt collectors from going beyond specific boundaries. Regarding telephone calls, it details when the line of legality is crossed.

If the calls are made not to try and collect on the debt by itself, but to annoy, abuse or harass the person who answers the call, it violates the FDCPA. The calls cannot be made more than seven times within seven consecutive days or within seven days after speaking to a person who owes or is connected to the debt the debt collector wants to collect upon. Once the debt collector has spoken to that person, they cannot call again for the next seven days.

To stop FDCPA violations, it may be important to have legal advice

There are exceptions to this rule. If, for example, the debtor gave direct permission to the debt collector, the call can be made. As people strive to get their finances in order, they are likely to be busy thinking about the most preferable option for them. When creditor harassment is taking place, it makes their situation seem worse.

When the telephone calls are violating the law, it is imperative to have legal advice. This can be useful not only to put a stop to the calls but also to recover compensation for the misbehavior and to consider the options to get into a better financial position. Calling professionals who understand the FDCPA can help.