What Should You Do if You Are Being Harassed By a Debt Collector?

debt collector harassmentMake no mistake – it is illegal for a debt collector to harass you. It violates the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, as well as the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act.

But what constitutes “harassment”? And how do you prove that a debt collector has been harassing you? This blog explains both.

The law is very specific as to what harassment is, and prohibits the following:

  • The use or threat of use of violence or other criminal means to harm the physical person, reputation, or property of any person,
  • Using of obscene or profane language,
  • Using language that abuses or oppresses consumers,
  • Publicizing lists of consumers who haven’t paid debts,
  • Causing a consumer’s phone to ring through repeated calling,
  • Calling consumers without disclosing the debt collector’s identity.

These are all listed in the FDCPA at 15 U.S.C § 1692d.

The best way to deal with harassing debt collectors is to create evidence — in the form of a Debt Collection Call Log  — with information about the call.

In Culik Law’s practice as consumer-protection attorneys, if a client comes to us with a log like this, it makes it much easier to go after an abusive debt collector. Otherwise, it may just be a case of your word against theirs.

Because of this, we have created a Debt Collection Call Log, which you can download for free here:

  • Debt Collection Call Log [link]

You can print this file and re-print it for as many calls as you need. Then, contact an experienced consumer-protection firm like Culik Law to see how we can help. In many cases, it won’t cost anything to do so.

For further reference, here are links  to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Debt Collection Regulations, and the Massachusetts Division of Banks’ Debt Collection Regtulations.

If you’ve been harassed by a debt collector, or are otherwise dealing with collections, debt-collection lawsuits, or other credit and debt issues, contact Culik Law to see if we can help at 617.830.1795.

Joe Culik

Joe Culik

Attorney Joe Culik has built his reputation on helping people and has dedicated his practice in Boston, Massachusetts to consumer protection, employee rights, and small business and franchise law.