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Abused by A Debt Collector
Years ago, when my finances were upside down, I was severely abused by a debt collector.
I answered the phone one morning while getting ready for work. After identifying himself, “Mr. Roosevelt” proceeded to yell at me about how irresponsible I was.
What do you mean you can’t pay the amount due in full.
We’ve waited long enough for our money.
You had no problem taking it, now it’s time to pay it back.
Don’t you work? Then you should be able to pay us.
We will sue you!
Do you want your kids to have to visit you in prison?
Seriously. No embellishments here. Mr. Roosevelt had me shaking and in absolute tears. Oh and then I had to go to work. I was a teacher at the time and I couldn’t shake it for the rest of the day. Wouldn’t you say I was abused by a debt collector.
Now I know these tactics are unethical and illegal. Just in case you are wondering if you may have a case of abuse on your hands ask yourself these questions:
You may have been abused by a debt collector if some one…
- contacted you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m., unless you have asked them to;
- contacted you at work after you told them not to
- used threats of violence or harm
- published a public list of names of people who refuse to pay their debts
- used obscene or profane language
- repeatedly used the phone to annoy someone
- falsely claimed that they are attorneys or government representatives
- falsely claimed that you have committed a crime
- falsely represented that they operate or work for a credit reporting company
- misrepresented the amount you owe
- indicated that papers they send you are legal forms if they aren’t, or indicate that papers they send to you aren’t legal forms if they are.
- claimed you can be arrested if you don’t pay your debt
- threatened to seize, garnish, attach, or sell your property or wages unless they are permitted by law to take the action and intend to do so
- threatened legal action in cases where doing so would be illegal or if they don’t intend to take the action
- provided false credit information about you to anyone, including a credit reporting company
- sent you anything that looks like an official document from a court or government agency if it isn’t
- used a false company name
- tried to collect any interest, fee, or other charge on top of the amount you owe unless the contract that created your debt – or your state law – allows the charge
- deposited a post-dated check early
- taken or threaten to take your property unless it can be done legally
- contacted you by postcard
- garnished your wages without an legal hearing
- contacted you after they have received a letter from you saying you do not wish to be contacted any further about the debt. The collector can still contact you to confirm there will be no further contact or to advise you of additional actions being taken against you, such as lawsuit.
It seems like a long list, but these folks are paid when they get payment and they can be very creative. If you feel like you’ve been abused by a debt collector, don’t hesitate to call a lawyer for a consultation.
The only way these Debt Collecting Bullies will stop is if we hold their feet to the fire.