Debt collectors calling consumers over the phone is mostly an accepted practice. Harassing borrowers, however, is not. The law provides guidelines on how debt collectors can do their job. If they do the following, they are likely committing harassment.
Calling at inconvenient times
The law generally prohibits debt collectors from calling consumers or sending electronic messages after 9 p.m. and before 8 a.m.
Calling when you told them not to
The law mainly compels debt collectors to follow your preferences regarding contacting you. For example, they usually cannot contact you if you instruct them not to call on weekends or while you are at work.
Using profane language
Cursing or using vulgar and offensive language when talking to you is generally unacceptable.
Threatening your life or safety
Debt collectors might employ various tactics to convince you to pay up, but they cannot threaten violence or harm to you and your family.
Threatening to get you imprisoned
Some debt collectors threaten to sue or get you arrested if you do not return the money you owe. The law generally forbids them from threatening you with a lawsuit they do not intend to proceed with.
Lying to you
Sometimes, debt collectors pressure consumers into paying by misconstruing details of their debt. For example, they might inflate the amount you owe or say you cannot dispute a particular debt.
Various laws protect consumers from harassment by debt collectors. If you feel that debt collectors are harassing or abusing you, an attorney can help you build a strong case and protect your rights.