One of the most frustrating components of owing a significant amount of debt is experiencing contact from creditors and debt collectors. When you have unpaid bills and overdue balances, you may find that you get phone calls and maybe even letters requesting payment. This is normal, but there are times when the actions of debt collectors may step over the line.
No matter how much debt you owe, you have certain rights. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act protects you from unfair and harassing treatment from creditors and debt collectors hired to secure payment. You will find it beneficial to learn more about what your rights include and whether it's possible that what you are dealing with over the phone and through other types of contact actually qualifies as harassment.
There are many different types of behavior that debt collectors may display that are actually illegal and against the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. If you are struggling with debt and facing financial stress, you may not know what's normal and what's harassment. Some of following things about what debt collectors can and cannot do may be helpful:
- Debt collectors may sometimes attempt to collect debts that you may not actually owe. You will want to confirm the debt and compare that information with your records.
- Debt collectors cannot harass you over the phone, call you at your place of work if you ask them to stop or call at unreasonable hours.
- Debt collectors cannot threaten you with arrest or a lawsuit or even taking action to harm your credit rating.
- Debt collectors cannot lie to you when on the phone, misrepresent who you are talking to or mislead you in an attempt to secure payment.
- Debt collectors cannot share your personal information about your debt with others, and they cannot threaten this course of action to coerce you to pay.
You do not have to endure creditor harassment alone. You have the right to seek help to make this treatment stop and report the responsible parties. You also have the right to seek a better financial future by filing for bankruptcy. Consumer bankruptcy can allow you to deal with many of your debts once and for all, seeking a better financial future for yourself and your family.
When you file for bankruptcy, it will enact the automatic stay. This halts all collection efforts, including contact from creditors, while you are under this protection. Reaching out to a Tennessee legal advocate experienced in bankruptcy can help you learn more about how this process works.