You’ve gotten yourself into some financial trouble and the debts are starting to pile up. The cost of living has become too much, and you’ve also had some unexpected medical expenses to deal with.
A little breathing room would go a long way, just until you come up with a plan on how to tackle your debts. However, debt collectors are hounding you every day, and you’re beginning to find this overwhelming.
Can debt collectors do whatever they like? In short, the answer is no. Debt collectors must adhere to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Outlined below are some more details about what debt collectors can and cannot do.
Debt collectors cannot arrest you
While many debt collectors adhere to the rules, some attempt to stretch and even break them. Debt collectors are not police officers. They have no power to arrest you or to accuse you of committing a criminal offense. Being in debt is not a crime and someone who is struggling financially should not be treated like a criminal.
Debt collectors cannot harass you
While debt collectors are entitled to pursue outstanding financial obligations, they must do this legally and responsibly. Generally, collection agencies are only permitted to contact you during the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 p.m., unless you have specifically stated otherwise. They must not make you feel physically threatened and they are not allowed to shame you at your workplace or in a public space.
Being in debt can be stressful enough without having to cope with unruly debt collection agencies. If you are in debt, remember you’re not alone. There are experienced parties out there who can guide you as you get back on your feet.