Harassment or Abuse

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If you've been contacted by debt collectors, you may be wondering what constitutes "harassment" or "abuse." While the terms themselves may be vague, the FDCPA explicitly outlines what practices third-party debt collectors can and cannot do.

Harassment and the FDCPA

Harassment usually refers to the amount of times a debt collector calls you, or how s/he tries to get ahold of you. Some examples of harassment that are banned by the FDCPA include:

  • Calling at odd hours, like before 8 A.M. your time or after 9 P.M. your time.
  • Calling you "often." If a debt collector is calling you 3-4 times per day, he or she is likely in violation of the FDCPA.
  • Contacting your family & friends about your whereabouts. A debt collector is allowed to contact your family or friends to determine how to reach you, but he or she cannot call your relatives day and night.

Abuse and the FDCPA

Abuse can refer to any tactics of debt collection that affect your physical and mental well being. Here are just a couple of abusive tactics that are illegal under the FDCPA:

  • Rude or profane language. A debt collector cannot swear at you or yell at you over the phone.
  • Misleading you legally. If a debt collector says he will sue you but has no intention of doing so, your FDCPA rights have been violated.

Getting Legal Assistance

If you have faced abusive or harassing tactics, you should speak with a creditor harassment attorney as soon as you can. An FDCPA attorney can evaluate your claim and help fight for your legal rights.