One of the hardest things about falling behind on your bills is the way that companies will aggressively pursue you for payment. Not only could it be embarrassing to receive brightly-colored envelopes in your mail warning you of a past-due balance or have your phone ringing at inconvenient times because you owe someone money, but the stress caused by overly aggressive collection activity can impact your physical and mental health as well.
Do you believe that a collection agency or creditor has started to harass you? There are actually laws that limit what debt collectors can do. What constitutes harassment when it comes to the collection of debts?
A company should not call you repeatedly
Collection companies should not make their phone calls into a form of harassment. Once they speak with you, they should give you a reasonable amount of time to take action before they start calling you again. For some companies, that might mean calling you once a week. Others might be more aggressive and call you once a day.
Although there is no specific limit on how many calls constitute harassment, you should know you have the right to ask them to stop contacting you via phone or at a certain number. If they called repeatedly after talking with you or after you properly request that they stop, that may constitute harassment.
Additionally, you have the right to ask them not to call you at work at all if your employer doesn’t allow you to take personal calls. If they continue to call you at your place of employment after you tell them you cannot receive personal calls there, that could also constitute harassment.
Collection agents should not threaten you
Some people who work in collections will take an aggressive and negative approach to their job. They might try to convince the person who owes money is that the company could have them thrown in jail or even makes threats against a person’s physical safety, job or family.
Collection agents may not have an obligation to be polite to you, but they should not make any threats against you in order to try to force you into paying. Additionally, debtor jails no longer exist, which means that the company cannot have you incarcerated simply for failing to pay them.
If creditor harassment has begun to take its toll on you, considering bankruptcy could be a way to stop the symptom by ceasing collection activity while also curing the disease by securing a discharge of your unsecured debts.