Last year saw tough financial times for many in North Carolina who may have been forced to rely on credit cards to pay for life’s necessities while they were furloughed, laid off or ill. Now those heavy credit card balances are coming due and some in Fayetteville may find that they cannot pay these loans back leading to intimidating and unwelcome phone calls from debt collectors.
Debt collectors cannot harass those who owe money
Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), debt collectors are prohibited from harassing or abusing debtors. For example, debt collectors cannot repeatedly make phone calls with the intention of abusing or harassing a debtor. They cannot use obscene or profane language, nor can they make violent threats. They are prohibiting publishing lists of those who are behind on their debts except for making reports to credit reporting companies. Finally, they must identify themselves when they call.
Debt collector cannot make misrepresentations about money owed
The FDCPA also prohibits debt collectors from using false, deceptive or misleading practices in an effort to recover what is owed. For example, they cannot make misrepresentations about how much a debtor owes. Debt collectors cannot falsely state they are an attorney. They cannot make false threats that the debtor will be arrested, nor can they threaten to take actions that are illegal or that they have no intention of doing.
Learn more about consumer protection
If a debt collector violates the FDCPA the debtor may be able to pursue a legal claim against the debt collector. However, many debtors in such situations may not know where to start or who to turn to when facing debt collector harassment and misrepresentations. This post is for informational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Our firm’s webpage on consumer protection may be a good starting point for those who want to learn more about their options.