Like many fellow Americans, you’ve fallen on hard times financially over the last year or two. Your hours have been cut, the cost of living has increased and you’ve had some medical bills to take care of.
Consequently, you’ve fallen into debt and the collection agencies are coming after you. The daily phone calls, visits to your home and letters are starting to become overwhelming.
It’s important to remember that debt collectors can’t act with impunity. There are rules and regulations that must be followed. If collection agencies are engaging in the following conduct, you may be able to raise a complaint.
Claiming to be police officers
Some debt collectors mistakenly believe that they have similar powers to police officers. The reality is that they do not. They cannot claim that your being in debt is a criminal offense and they certainly cannot threaten to arrest you.
Collecting someone else’s debt
You and your ex split some time ago and you later found out your spouse owed a lot of debt. Some of the paperwork for that debt is registered at your address, and collection agencies are saying that you must pay up. You don’t have to pay debts that you are not legally responsible for and debt collectors have no authority to claim otherwise.
Engaging in harassment
While debt collectors are entitled to follow up on alleged debts, they must do so within the confines of the law. Generally, it is only acceptable to contact you during the hours of 8:00 am to 9:00 pm. They are also not permitted to call you multiple times every hour or threaten you with any form of violence.
Bankruptcy is one option you may want to consider if your debts have gotten out of hand. This will get collection agencies off of your back. Seeking legal guidance on the matter will give you a better idea of your choices.