woman in debt

How to Know if You’re Facing Creditor Abuse

By Derek Prosser

Times are more difficult than ever and for many families and bills continue to go unpaid. While already an extremely stressful time for you and your family, these feelings of helplessness are often only exacerbated by continuous contact from your creditors. And although creditors do have certain rights regarding collections, their behavior is controlled by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. It’s important to know if your creditors are within their rights or if they are abusing these entitlements.

Creditor Abuse

When someone owes money to a company, collection agencies will contact them for payment. Unfortunately, collections agencies are often known for using harassing or abusive conduct in order to obtain this payment – regardless of whether or not the person in debt informs them of their inability to pay it. 

This ruthless behavior is only encouraged by the fact that many collections agencies will incentivize their employees through rewards or at least recognition for securing a previously difficult payment. 

What Is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was signed into law on September 20th, 1977 in an effort to combat the ongoing debt collector abuse and harassment. The Act was added as part of the Consumer Credit Protection Act and prevents debt collectors from engaging in the following behaviors:

  • Repeatedly contacting you
  • Calling you prior to 8:00 in the morning or 9:00 at night
  • Threatening you should you not be able to make a payment
  • Lying about who they are, the amount of money that you owe, or what will happen if you should fail to make your payment
  • Continuing to call or email you even after you’ve filed for bankruptcy
  • Calling you after you hire an attorney

What Constitutes Creditor Abuse or Harassment?

While it can be frustrating and annoying any time that a creditor contacts you for payment, not all contact is abusive or harassing. However, if a creditor calls you every day, calls you multiple times per day, calls your place of work, calls you during inappropriate hours (as addressed under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act), or threatens you should you not pay your debt, it can be considered harassment or abuse. Regardless of any abuse, you should never allow any creditor to scare you or pressure you into making a payment that would take away the money you need to be able to afford basic needs (e.g., food, shelter, electricity).

Toronjo & Prosser Law Helps Those Who Are Dealing with Bankruptcy 

It’s undoubtedly stressful to realize that you don’t have enough money, and even more stressful when you realize that filing for bankruptcy might be your best option. That’s why it’s so important to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced Dallas bankruptcy attorney. At Toronjo & Prosser, our qualified Texas Bankruptcy Attorneys can help you to navigate the process. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation contact us online or call us today!

About the Author
Derek Prosser understands that clients need help and need answers and that in order to properly address those concerns, clients need to deal with an attorney first and always, not just an assistant or paralegal.  By effectively counseling from the outset of a case, Toronjo & Prosser Law can anticipate and address potential problems before they arise, as opposed to when they’ve already surfaced (the “Counsel Later” approach), and, in the end, strive for a seamless representation.