Nowadays, if you fall behind on your credit card payments, you can expect to hear from someone about it. When credit card accounts fall too far behind, the debt is often sold by the credit card company to a debt collection agency for a fraction of the total amount. The debt collection agency then typically comes after you in an effort to reclaim the debt, but they may only lawfully do so using certain methods.
For example, when trying to reclaim a debt from you, debt collectors may not:
Use tactics that are considered harassing in nature
If you have ever had your phone ring off the hook because of a debt collector, you probably understand how stressful and annoying this can be. Debt collectors are not allowed to harass you by calling you repeatedly, and they are also banned from contacting you by phone during atypical hours, such as early in the morning or late at night. Furthermore, they cannot use profane language once they have you on the phone in an attempt to scare you into paying, nor can they threaten you with violence.
Engage in unfair collection practices
Debt collectors are also prevented by law from charging you any interest or fees while reclaiming your debt, unless those expenses were noted on your original contract. They are also not allowed to contact you via postcard, where others might see information about your debt. Debt collectors also cannot deposit post-dated checks before the date that appears on the document, nor can they tell you your property or assets are going to be repossessed if this is not, in fact, the case.
Give false statements when speaking with you
Regrettably, some debt collectors will represent themselves as someone else, or otherwise make false statements to you, when trying to collect money. For example, they cannot tell you that they are lawyers or government officials if this is not accurate. They also cannot tell you documents are legally binding if they are not, or that they are representatives of a credit reporting company if this is not true.
These are just some of the tactics today's debt collectors frequently use to try and collect your debt or frighten you into compliance. If you are being harassed by a debt collection agency and the agency is using any of the aforementioned tactics, you may be able to hold the business accountable. To discuss your specific debt collection situation, consider contacting an attorney.