No one likes to be in debt. Waking up in the morning, knowing that one owes debts that they can’t afford at the time is a stressful situation for anyone. Getting incessant letters and phone calls from creditors doesn’t help levels of stress.

Not only is such pestering by creditors scary and stressful for consumers, but it can also be illegal. The Obama administration is fighting creditor harassment and making it easier for victimized consumers to join in on the fight themselves.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is fighting on behalf of harassed consumers and in the name of the Consumer Protection Act. It is sending a refreshed warning to debt collection agencies that they must not engage in illegal, harassing collection tactics. If they do, they will be punished.

Consumers now also have at least some semblance of at-home tools to prevent creditor harassment. The CFPB has created letters for consumers to refer to when they are contacted by collectors. Depending on a specific debtor’s situation, they can simply read off the text of a letter that should get collection agencies off of their backs.

Many people don’t understand their rights in regards to their debts and what collection agencies can and can’t do. The CFPB is trying to inform them of their rights and arm them with knowledge. But that probably isn’t enough for many people who are bogged down with credit card debt. A bankruptcy attorney can help fill in the gaps and guide those struggling with debts toward a happier future.

Source: Forbes, “How To Defend Against Abusive Debt Collectors,” Halah Touryalai, July 11, 2013