After more than a decade in helping consumers with their debt problems I shouldn’t be surprised when I hear of some of the outrageous things debt collectors do. One would think that with all of the regulations out there and attorneys like me who make sure that debt collectors are following the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), that the debt collection world would clean up its act. But they don’t.
I have met with numerous people who have dealt with debt collectors who have threatened to come over and arrest the person they are trying to collect from. Even worse, just the other day I met with a man who had a debt collector tell him (*warning – graphic*) to “grow some balls, be a man, and pay the debt”. When it comes to lies like these told by debt collectors whether my client actually owes the debt or not becomes totally irrelevant. Debt collectors can treat people with basic decency and comply with the FDCPA or face the penalties the law has put in place.
But, back to the original question, can a debt collector throw you in jail over a delinquent debt? No, they can’t. But you can sue them for violating the FDCPA and get them to stop such ridiculous behavior.
What Types of Conduct is Prohibited Under the FDCPA?
The type of conduct prohibited by the FDCPA can really be boiled down to four questions:
Was the debt collector’s conduct…
If the answer to any of these four questions is yes then you may have a claim under the FDCPA. You don’t have to put up with the garbage that debt collectors too often engage in. If you are dealing with a debt collector that is causing you grief fight back. You will not only be able to stop the bullying behavior but the court may award you money damages.
Photo Credit: Ken Teegardin
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John Skiba, Esq.
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