It’s not uncommon for debt collectors to dish out empty threats to intimidate and pressure consumers into taking action on a debt. These threats are illegal and are used to get consumers to agree to make some kind of payment, even when there’s no proof of the consumer actually owing the debt. While there are many different tactics that debt collectors will use, we’ve found five of the most common threats that debt collectors will use.
Threaten arrest or legal action
Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), debt collectors must not use unethical or abusive actions against consumers. This includes threatening arrest or threatening to take you to court.
Threaten to garnish wages
Debt collectors cannot threaten to seize, garnish, attach, or sell your property or wages, unless the agency or creditor intends to follow through. They cannot threaten for intimidation purposes. The only way they can garnish your wages is if they sue you and a judgement is issued against you in court.
Threaten to go public with your debt situation
Debt collectors can only release your debt information to credit bureaus. Threatening to publicize your debt is considered harassment. You are the only person that a debt collector can talk to about your debt. Calling your friends and family to discuss the debt is illegal.
Say you have committed a crime
Debt collectors cannot imply that you have committed a crime when in fact you have not. This is considered a false statement and is similar to threatening arrest. Having debt is not a crime. You can’t go to prison simply because you have debt.
Claim to be government agents or give a false name
Claiming to be an attorney or a government representative when that is not the case is a false statement. Debt collectors cannot identify themselves to you under a false name. Any false statements made or false documents sent by a debt collectors is illegal.
Of course, there are many other situations in which some debt collectors violate consumer protection laws. It is important to know your rights to protect yourself from harassing debt collection agencies.
Owing a debt is not a crime. Always make sure the debt is yours. You can ask debt collectors to verify a debt that you do not think that you owe. Make sure you check your credit report annually. Many times false debt may appear due to a clerical error, mixed files, or identity theft.
Hire a Consumer Protection Lawyer now!
If a debt collector has violated any of your rights, our attorneys are ready to fight for you. Don’t wait too long. You can sue debt collectors for harassment within the year that they contacted you. Get your free case review today or call us at 1-877-735-8600.