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Recognizing creditor harassment in debt collector tactics

Simply because a person in Tyler is having financial issues and might be behind in payments does not mean that creditors are allowed to use underhanded and abusive tactics in the pursuit of collection on debts. The debtor must understand that the person is protected by certain rights to avoid such harassment. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practice's Act, it is not within the creditor's rights to conduct certain behaviors when trying to recover payment.

Examples of harassment that can occur include -- repeated phone calls that are designed to irritate, harass or abuse the debtor or anyone else who happens to answer the calls, using abusive language, threatening to commit violence or do harm, publishing the names of people who have not paid their debts and calling without identifying themselves. If the FDCPA is violated, the debtor has the right to file a lawsuit because of it.

The law stipulates that collectors cannot be deceptive, misleading or use false information when dealing with the debtor. The following cannot be misrepresented -- how much is owed, that the person calling is a legal professional, that there is the possibility that the debtor could be placed under arrest, that penalties can be assessed if they are not legal and that certain behaviors will be done without the intention of actually doing them.

One method that can be effective to combat this type of harassment is to inform the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Another effective method is to seek assistance from a legal professional who has experience and skill at dealing with creditor harassment. For help in getting past debts and seeking solutions, an attorney is an essential tool to get back on better financial footing and moving forward.

Source: consumerfinance.gov, "What is harassment by a debt collector?, accessed on Dec. 15, 2015

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