We all hear it all the time... People are harassed by debt collectors. On the one hand, debt collectors do have a job to do and it is not an easy one. They try to get money that is owed.

However, there are laws and rules that debt collectors must follow. When debt collectors violate those rules, people are harassed and abused.

It can be a violation of the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) for a debt collector

  l  to keep calling you after you tell them to stop calling; you can tell them you only want to be contacted by mail.

  l  to call you at work or some other inconvenient place (including your cell phone) after you tell them to not contact you there.

  l  to call you very often.

  l  to call at disturbing times of the day.

  l  to use profanity or extremely threatening or abusive language (although this is very subjective).

  l  to leave threatening messages with other people like family members, rather than talking directly to you.

  l  to lie to you, such as threatening actions against you that they cannot legally take. In my opinion if a debt collector threatens to seize your wages or sell your house, this can be fraudulent and a lie and an FDCPA violation because they are not a law firm and because they do not tell you that first a lawsuit is required and they might not win that lawsuit.

  l  to try to collect a debt that is not legally collectible, such as too old under the statute of limitations or not a valid debt.

  l  in my opinion, to continue to try to collect a debt, simply ignoring a dispute, after being informed that the debt is disupted can possibly become a violation of the FDCPA if the debt collector knows of a dispute and simply ignores it completely rather than seeking some certainty about the validity of the debt.

If you have been harassed, lied to, or abused by a debt collector in the last year, contact us to see if we can file a lawsuit to put a stop to it.

Be careful to keep good records of when you are contacted, harassed, or lied to. The key to bringing these lawsuits is keep a journal of every time you are contacted, and write down the details immediately. If possible, make a phone recording (if legal in your State, as it is in Virginia).