When debt collectors follow up on a debt, they can implement some intense or even outright bizarre tactics in an attempt to get their money.
However, the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) prevents them from acting in certain ways that could constitute as harassment or misrepresentation.
Eviction, threats and phone calls
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau discusses debt collector harassment and the protections that consumers have against it. Debt collector harassment includes a number of dangerous behaviors that can unsettle the victim, destroy their peace of mind, and create an unnecessarily stressful situation.
Some forms of harassment are relatively straightforward and simple. For example, a debt collector may show up at the victim’s house and threaten them or the other people living in the home with bodily violence or eviction.
Phone harassment serves as another common tactic. In this case, the debt collectors will call at all hours, especially in the wee hours of the morning or at times generally designated for family, such as dinner hours. They may leave threatening messages where they do not identify themselves, or no messages at all.
Property stake-outs and intimidation
Sometimes, debt collection agencies may even stake out a property. They could send agents to sit in a car outside of the house for hours at a time, days in a row. Though the agent does not do anything physical to the property owners, the constant reminder that they are under watch can wreak mental havoc.
Fortunately, people have protection against all of these behaviors. It is possible and even encouraged to take action against debt collectors who utilize harassment tactics against unsuspecting victims.