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Know your rights if a debt collector calls

On Behalf of | Mar 31, 2021 | Consumer Protection |

If you are experiencing a financial hardship and are unable to pay your bills, it may only be a matter of time before you start receiving phone calls and letters from debt collectors. These calls and letters can be extremely distressing during what is a difficult time in your life financially. However, federal law prohibits debt collectors from harassing debtors or making misrepresentations. The following is a brief overview of these topics that may be of interest to debtors in Fayetteville.

What constitutes debt collector harassment?

Federal law prohibits debt collectors from harassing, oppressing or abusing debtors. There are a variety of ways in which a debt collector can unlawfully harass a debtor. Repeatedly calling the debtor with the intention of abusing, annoying or harassing whoever answers the phone is unlawful. Debt collectors are also prohibited from using obscene or profane language. Debt collectors cannot make violent threats.

While debt collectors can report non-payments to credit reporting companies, they cannot publish a list of debtors who are unable to pay their bills. Debt collectors also must identify who they are when calling a debtor. If a debtor is being harassed by a debt collector, they may be able to pursue a lawsuit.

Debt collectors cannot make misrepresentations

Under federal law, debtors cannot engage in practices that are false, deceptive or misleading. There are a variety of topics they must be truthful about. Debt collectors must be honest about the amount owed. The debt collector cannot identify themselves as an attorney if they are not.

Debt collectors cannot make false statements that they will have the debtor arrested. In addition, debt collectors cannot threaten to do something that is against the law. Debt collectors also cannot threaten to take action that they have no intention of taking. If a debtor is making misrepresentations, it may be possible to hold them accountable in court.

Learn more about consumer rights

No one should be unfairly subjected to harassment – or worse – because of an outstanding debt. Those in North Carolina who want to learn more about consumer rights may want to explore our firm’s website for further information.