If you’ve fallen on hard times and can no longer make payments on your debts, it is common for financial institutions to turn your account over to third-party debt collectors. While these third-party debt collectors have the legal right to contact you regarding repayment options, they are not allowed to mistreat or harass you.
All debt collectors are required to abide by the rules established in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and if they do not follow these rules, they are legally and financially liable for damages. This means that a debt collector cannot call you too many times, call you while you’re at work, or threaten you in any way.
If you are being harassed by a debt collector, and they are calling you too often, contact the bankruptcy department at Jackson White Law.
What is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a federal law that limits the types and amounts of actions that third-party debt collectors can use while attempting to receive payments. The law restricts how debt collectors may contact debtors, the time of day they are allowed to contact them, and how many times they may call them each day.
If a debt collector violates the FDCPA, the debtor has the right to sue the debt collection company and the individual debt collector for harassment. According to the FDCPA, debt collectors who harass debtors are liable for monetary damages, attorney fees, and court fees.
If a debt collector has harassed you, the bankruptcy law team at Jackson White Law is here to help. The bankruptcy law team can protect you by ending the harassing phone calls and assisting you in suing the debt collectors.
What is Considered Debt Collection Harassment?
According to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the following actions are considered to be harassment:
- A debt collector repeatedly or continuously calling you
- A debt collector calling you at work even though they have been informed not to
- A debt collector threatens to hurt you
- A debt collector threatening to hurt your reputation
- A debt collector swears or curses while talking to or about you
- If a debt collector fails to identify themselves
- If a debt collector speaks with other people about your debt
If the debt collector you are working with has done any of the actions listed above, you have the right to sue them for harassment. Debt collectors who harass their debtors can be sued in court and may be required to pay up to $1000 in damages to the debtor and any attorney fees.
How Many Times Can A Debt Collector Call You In One Day?
According to the FDCPA, a debt collector cannot call a debtor more than once per day for each debt. This means that if you only have one outstanding debt, then your debt collector is only allowed to call you one time per day.
If you have two outstanding debts, then your debt collector can call you once per debt, resulting in two calls per day max. If a debt collector calls you more than one time per debt each day, this is harassment, and it is illegal.
The only time it is legal for a debt collector to call you more than one time per day is if you have previously agreed to speak at a specific time. For instance, if they call you in the morning and you ask them to call back in the afternoon, they may do so.
How To Stop Debt Collectors from Calling
While preventing a debt collector from calling you will not make your debt go away, it can provide you with some peace and quiet. The best way to stop debt collectors from calling you is to send them a letter by certified mail requesting that they no longer contact you this way.
Debt collectors are obligated to follow your communication requests or risk their actions to be considered harassment. It is wise for you to send your letter by certified mail and pay for a return receipt. By doing so, you have proof that the debt collector received your request, and if they continue to call you, this proof can be used to prove harassment in court.
Suing a Debt Collector
Debt collectors must follow the guidelines established in the FDCPA, and if they do not follow these guidelines, you as the debtor may sue them for harassment. To sue a debtor for harassment, you will need the help of an experienced bankruptcy attorney.
The bankruptcy law team at Jackson White Law has years of experience protecting clients from pestering debt collectors, and they are here to help you too. If you are receiving too many calls from a debt collector, contact attorney John Skiba at Jackson White Law today.
Call us at (480) 464-1111 or fill out the form below to get started.