New York residents like you may have fallen into debt for various reasons. As you struggle to get back out of debt, the last thing you need on your plate is a debt collector knocking down your door.
While most debt collectors obey the anti-harassment laws, this is not always the case. Thus, it is important to know what distinguishes harassing behavior so that you can take a stand against it.
How do debt collectors harass people?
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau looks at harassment done by debt collectors. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), debt collectors cannot harass or abuse you to collect their debts.
This does not always stop them, though. Some typical examples of harassing behaviors include:
- The use of profane or obscene language (i.e. cussing you out)
- Threatening you with harm or violence
- Calling without identifying themselves
- Calling repeatedly with the intention of abusing, annoying or harassing you
Calling as a form of harassment
In the case of calling, the hour at which a collector calls also factors into potential harassment. For example, some debt collectors may call at midnight or early in the morning specifically to wake you up and cause you distress.
Some debt collectors even go so far as to publish “public shaming lists”. These lists are often posted online. They consist of personal information and details of individuals like you who cannot pay back your debts.
If you are facing these issues, you may want to consider filing for bankruptcy. Doing so will disallow collectors from contacting you in any way, protecting you from the possibility of harassment.