Debt collector harassment can make your life miserable!
I read an article today from the Oreonian entiltled "Eugene woman sues after bill collector sends cops to house".
You can click on the link above to get the complete story, but here's a summary:
- Retired, 85 year old woman got behind on her Wells Fargo Mastercard
- Wells Fargo turned the account over to a collector
- Collector repeatedly calls and harasses her
- Collector uses one of the cruelist, unprofession and I think, illegal tactics that I've ever heard of. He calls the police and tells them she is suicidal and of course they come to her house.
- As a result, they "forcibly" took her to an emergency room with a warning not to leave (according to the claim)
- Now she has additional medical bills from the fiasco!
I do not know what prompted the collectors action. Hopefully, the lawsuit will sort this all out.
But, are you serious? Can a debt collector harass a senior citizen to the point of possible suicide and not suffer severe consequenses?
It seems so...but we have rights. Hopefully her lawsuit will help.
The Fair Debt Collection Practice Act is the law about what a collector can and cannot do, and in my opinion, this collector has violated the law.
According to the FDCPA, these are practices that are off limits for debt collectors?
Debt collectors may not harass, oppress, or abuse you or any third parties they contact. For example, they may not:
- use threats of violence or harm;
- publish a list of names of people who refuse to pay their debts (but they can give this information to the credit reporting companies);
- use obscene or profane language; or
- repeatedly use the phone to annoy someone.
Debt collectors may not lie when they are trying to collect a debt. For example, they may not:
- falsely claim that they are attorneys or government representatives;
- falsely claim that you have committed a crime;
- falsely represent that they operate or work for a credit reporting company;
- misrepresent the amount you owe;
- indicate 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.
Debt collectors also are prohibited from saying:
- you will be arrested if you don’t pay your debt;
- they’ll seize, garnish, attach, or sell your property or wages unless they are permitted by law to take the action and intend to do so; or
- legal action will be taken against you, if doing so would be illegal or if they don’t intend to take the action.
Debt collectors may not:
- give false credit information about you to anyone, including a credit reporting company;
- send you anything that looks like an official document from a court or government agency if it isn’t; or
- use a false company name.
Debt collectors may not engage in unfair practices when they try to collect a debt. For example, they may not:
- try 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;
- deposit a post-dated check early
- take or threaten to take your property unless it can be done legally
- contact you by postcard.
If you or someone you know (especially a senior citizen) is receiving harassing calls and/or illegal activity from a debt collector, you have options:
- Click here for a free guide on HOW TO STOP COLLECTION CALLS.
- Contact your states attorney general a file a complaint.
photo by: BLW Photography