Creditors often hire debt collectors to collect money owed to them by debtors. Typically, a creditor issues a debtor’s contact information to a debt collector. While debt collectors have every right to call you concerning a debt, they should abide by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). However, debtors might find it challenging to avoid harassment calls from debt collectors if they know nothing about their rights.
Debt collectors who flout the law can be a source of anxiety. Therefore, you should at least familiarize yourself with common tactics that collection agencies use when they contact debtors. You stand up for your rights if you understand the techniques.
1. Threaten Arrest
A debt collector might threaten you with arrest, particularly if you fail to pick up their calls. Unfortunately, most people fall for the trap, not knowing that it is illegal for a collection agent to make such false claims. Only law enforcement agencies can issue a warrant of arrest, and debt collectors do not fall under the category.
Failure to repay money owed to a creditor within a specified time period cannot land you in prison. Therefore, contact a lawyer immediately when a debt collector calls you and threatens to have you arrested. Such a threat is considered harassment and a violation of the TCPA.
2. Impersonate a Government Agent
Some debt collectors might pretend to be government agents to get your attention. For example, a debt collector might impersonate a tax agent and inform you of the tax implications of not paying your debt on time. Notably, such information can make someone extremely anxious. However, it is illegal for collection agencies to impersonate government agents in the name of pursuing debts.
The best thing to do if you encounter a debt collector who misrepresents themselves is to record all calls. You can record conversations electronically or manually using a notebook. In particular, capture the impersonating debt collector’s name, location, and title. Remember to save texts and emails because the logs are crucial when your lawyer files a harassment suit.
3. Threaten to Share Debt Information
Creditors and debt collectors should protect the privacy of your financial information. However, some collection agencies might threaten to share your debt obligations publicly to shame you. Unfortunately, you can easily fall for such harassment tactics if you do not know your rights.
Your creditor and their debt collector must protect the privacy of your financial information. In fact, the FDCPA limits who collection agencies can share your debt information with. Although collection agencies can work with third parties to track your whereabouts, the information they request is restricted to your address, home phone number, and workplace. Therefore, contact your lawyer immediately if a debt collector threatens to expose your financial data to other people.
4. Threaten to Garnish Your Wages
A collection agency might threaten to garnish your wages if you do not pay your debt within a specific period. For example, the scare tactic might be used to make you agree to the conditions of a new repayment plan. However, a collection agent does not have the power to garnish your wages if you do not pick up their calls or pay your debt.
A court order is the only way a debt collector can garnish your wages. Therefore, do not fall for such threats. Data collection agencies cannot garnish your wages if no legal action is taken against you.
While you can speak to a debt collector about your dues, you should know your rights to avoid being harassed. Contact us at Heidarpour Law Firm immediately if you feel that a collection agency’s calls have crossed into illegal territory. Our experienced group of attorneys can help you deal with aggressive debt collectors.