The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) prevents debt collectors from harassing, oppressing, or abusing anyone they contact. Repetitive phone calls meant to annoy or abuse are considered harassment as well as the use of obscene or profane language as well as threatening violence. If you believe a debt collector is harassing you, call a creditor harassment attorney in St. Petersburg for help.
If the debt collector violates the FDCPA, you can report them. In some cases, you may be able to sue the debt collectors for violating the FDCPA. If you win your lawsuit, the collector may have to pay you damages. A creditor harassment attorney in St. Petersburg can help determine if you have a case for a lawsuit.
What is Illegal and What is Legal?
It is illegal for debt collectors to misrepresent themselves. Therefore, they cannot use deceptive, false, or misleading practices. If they misrepresent how much you owe, make false arrest threats, or present themselves as an attorney when they are not, these actions violate the FDCPA. If a debt collector communicates with you, keep a record of how they contact you and what they say.
If you are the victim of unfair debt collection practices, it is important to contact a creditor harassment attorney. You shouldn’t have to deal with multiple phone calls a day, obscene language, threats of violence, or never-ending harassment. By seeking legal assistance, you may be able to make it stop while also possible obtaining damages.
What to Do If a Debt Collector Contacts You
If you receive a call from a debt collector, remember to remain calm and collected. Many collectors work on commission and will attempt to intimidate you. Assume all calls are being recorded and avoid saying anything overly defensive.
As we mentioned previously, keep records showing how often collectors call you, what time, and what they say. For the most part, you will receive phone calls or postal mail, although some people in St. Petersburg receive emails or text messages. Keep documents, statements, and correspondence and bring them to your creditor harassment attorney. If a dispute goes to court, your lawyer can use this as evidence.
When speaking with a collector, ask for their name, the name of the company they work for, and a call back number. Take notes about what you discussed, or if they made any threats such as having you arrested, hurting your credit record, or garnishing your wages. These notes can be invaluable if you end up taking the debt collector to court.
Verify the Debt
During your conversation, you can also ask the collector to verify the debt. Within five days, they must provide the following information:
- The amount of debt
- The creditor
They should also notify you that you have thirty days to dispute the debt’s validity. If you do nothing, they will assume it is valid. If you dispute it within thirty days, they will send you identifying information verifying the debt. Once you ask for verification or dispute the debt, the collector must cease their collection activity until they send you the verification.
Work with a Creditor Harassment Attorney and Defend Your Rights
Ultimately, the best way to get the harassment to stop is to contact a creditor harassment attorney. If you do not know your rights as a consumer, then debt collectors may try to take advantage of you. For a professional team of lawyers in the St. Petersburg area, call Berkowitz & Myer at (727) 344-0123 or contact us online.