Can you sue a debt collector who is harassing you?

On Behalf of | Jul 25, 2023 | personal bankruptcy |

Dealing with overly aggressive debt collectors can be very stressful. If you feel they are crossing the line and harassing you, you might be able to seek legal action to protect yourself.

What is harassment by debt collectors?

The law compels debt collectors to follow specific guidelines when doing their job. Usually, committing the following actions and behaviors constitutes harassment:

  • Repetitively making phone calls or sending messages via social media, email or SMS, especially after you told them to call you at specific times only
  • Communicating with you without identifying themselves
  • Swearing and using other profanities while talking to you
  • Threatening violence or harm against you or your loved ones
  • Publishing the names of people who owe them money with the intention of shaming them

Moreover, debt collectors sometimes misrepresent information about the debt to coerce you into paying them. For instance, they might inflate the amount you supposedly owe, threaten you with a lawsuit or tell you a lawyer when they are not.

What legal action can you take against harassment?

The above actions violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). If you feel debt collectors are harassing you, you may write a letter requesting them to cease communications. Note, however, that even if they stop communicating with you, it will not mean you no longer owe them anything.

If the harassment does not stop, you may file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. Ensure your complaint has information relevant to the issue, such as the name of the debt collection agency and the details of the harassment.

Should the harassment and aggression continue, you may consider filing a lawsuit against the agency as a last resort. An attorney can help you build a strong case and protect your rights against debt collectors. They can also advise you on other options to effectively address your unpaid debt.