What constitutes debt collection harassment?

If you struggle with debt in New Jersey, you may get calls from your creditors or from collection agencies trying to get payment on your debt. Sometimes these calls may begin to feel like harassment, especially if you have already explained your situation. While the company may only be trying to collect money you rightfully owe, there are some times when those collection methods are against the law.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau explains the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act sets the rules for what debt collectors can and cannot do when trying to collect a debt. One of the main things they cannot do when they call you is threaten you. They can inform you of action they will take, but they cannot threaten to do anything to you to harm you.

In addition, debt collectors cannot hide who they are or why they are calling and cannot mislead you about why they contact you. They also cannot use profane language when speaking to you. While they can report your debt to collection agencies, they cannot publish your name as a debtor.

The last point is kind of a gray area. The FDCPA says debt collectors cannot repeatedly call you to harass or annoy you. Generally, this means calling too much and too often in an attempt to get you to relent and pay. If they call you a lot and you do not answer, this may not fall under the label of harassment since they did not speak to you.

You can report and sue a debt collector that breaks the law. This information is for education and is not legal advice.

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