Debt Collectors Do the Darnedest Things
But can they really do that?
If you have ever had the misfortune of dealing with a bad debt collector, you know that they can sometimes behave like they are untouchable. They go out of their way to make hard-working people who can’t pay their debts feel like dirt. They think they are untouchable because they rarely get challenged.
Truth is, they are almost certainly violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. By violating the FDCPA, they are opening themselves up to statutory civil damages of $1,000.00, actual damages, attorney’s fees and costs. The problem is that almost nobody knows that they can sue abusive debt collectors; most people have no idea what their rights are. To combat that, here are a few ways debt collectors can violate the FDCPA:
- Calling your employer and letting them know you owe a debt;
- Calling your neighbors and letting them know you owe a debt;
- Calling you at inconvenient times;
- Threatening to sue you, garnish your wages, or send the Sheriffs to your house when they don’t have any authority or intention to do so;
- Impersonating law enforcement in order to intimidate you;
- Sending you letters with empty threats, enclosing documents meant to look like official documents;
- Sending postcards or other mail that indicates that you owe a debt on the outside of the envelope;
- Keep calling you if you tell them not to in writing;
- Trying to collect a debt that you do not owe;
- Sending collection letters that can be read through the envelope;
- Implying that an attorney has reviewed your file when no attorney has looked at your file;
- Verbally abusing you using profanity, racist, or derogatory terms;
- Leaving voicemails without identifying themselves as a debt collector trying to collect a debt; and
- The list goes on.
If you have had any contact with a debt collector, by phone, letter, or otherwise, you may have a case against them for violating the FDCPA.