When struggling with debt, the last thing you need on your plate is the harassment of a creditor.
While creditor harassment is illegal and creditors are regulated strongly by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), this does not stop them from doing potentially illegal things.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau discusses what creditor harassment looks like. Harassment comes in many shapes and forms, with each just as illegal as the last.
On the more mild end of the spectrum, creditors may engage in misrepresentation or lying behaviors. In short, they may present their case in a civil way but lie about things like the amount of debt a person has or the risks they face. In doing this, they create a false sense of urgency that can get someone to react in a more reflexive way.
Overt attempts at harassment
You may also face more intense forms of harassment, though. Phone harassment is a common tactic, where the creditor or someone working for their firm will call you throughout the day and night. They call regardless of whether it is a “polite” time to call, and may leave threatening messages without self-identifying, or no messages at all.
They may even physically intimidate or threaten you. For example, they may have an employee on the creditor firm hold a stake-out in which they park outside of your property and simply keep watch over your house, just to fuel any feelings of anxiety or paranoia.
Fortunately, it is possible to take action against the creditors who would do such illegal things, and they may even have to pay for the court proceedings.