New Jersey residents like you are already going through enough when you fall into debt. You do not need someone getting on your case with threats of violence or de-homing on top of that. Unfortunately, this is exactly what some creditors and debt collectors do.
Harassment is not legal. But this does not stop it from happening. Sometimes, you may not even realize that you are dealing with creditor harassment. It is important to know where to draw the line.
Harassment the FDCPA bans
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau focuses on creditor harassment and how it manifests. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) bans all harassment. But this does not fix everything. Creditors can and do still harass you when they try to collect from you. Harassment can take many forms, too. A few examples include:
- Threats of harm or violence
- Profane or obscene language
- Not revealing their identity in phone conversations
- Repeatedly calling you especially at obscene hours
- Publishing lists to shame you and others who are in debt
Taking serious action against serious threats
Threats do not usually escalate to actual violence, but you may feel like it is a very real risk. For example, some victims report creditors parking outside of their house. They sit there, watching the house and its occupants, sometimes for a day or more. This is clearly threatening behavior, even if no physical action gets taken.
Though you can sue a debt collector for FDCPA violations, you have another option, too. This is the option of filing for bankruptcy. The second you do, it halts any creditor or debt collector’s ability to contact you in any form.