Falling into debt is one of the most stressful experiences a person can have. The feeling of knowing you have to pay that debt back is often crippling, anxiety-inducing and interrupts your ability to live your life in a healthy, happy way.
The last thing you need on top of this, then, is a debt collector harassing you. But how do you recognize this harassment?
Harassment via phone call
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau looks at debt collector harassment. This can take numerous forms, but it boils down to a debt collector using underhanded and/or threatening means to try getting money out of you, even if you do not have any money to give.
A typical example involves a debt collector calling your house at all hours of the day and night. They refuse to leave identifying messages with names or numbers for you to call back. They also call at ridiculous times, including in the middle of the night. The intent is simply to cause you distress and anxiety, making you feel like you cannot get a break.
Direct threats to you
Other examples involve cursing or making physical threats toward you, your family or other residents of your dwelling. They may threaten to physically harm you, or they could threaten you and other residents with eviction and the potentially terrible things that could happen if you get thrown onto the street.
You actually have protection from these threats under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). If you face these or similar issues, consider contacting legal help to figure out your next line of action.