As someone struggling with debt, you have likely dealt with debt collectors before. It is their job to collect on the money that you owe. But the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) ensures that debt collectors cannot overstep their bounds when fulfilling their duties.
The FDCPA bans any form of harassment. But that is not the only thing you gain protection from. You also avoid the potential of misrepresentation.
False displays of authority
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau examines the phenomenon of debt collector misrepresentation. This happens when a debt collector attempts to skew, misconstrue or even straight out lie about facts. They do so with the goal of forcing you to repay your debt through threats that have no real power.
For example, debt collectors may pretend to have authority they do not. Some pretend to be an attorney and may threaten you with a law suit or court case. Others make false threats about the possibility of sending cops to arrest you.
Some use misrepresentation to make big threats. This can include threats to do something they have no legal power to do. It may also include threats for things they have no actual intent of following through on, even if they could.
Finally, some lie about the most basic of details and information. It is a common threat tactic to lie about the amount of money you actually owe. This incites panic and can drive you to make payments faster.
If you face any of these behaviors, consider discussing them with a legal expert. They can help you determine if you are up against debt collector misrepresentation and if you should pursue legal action.