If you want to stand up against collection harassment, you need to know what debt collectors can and cannot do. No matter the circumstances of your debt, a debt collector cannot do any of the following.
1. Pretend to Work for Law Enforcement
A 2014 incident in Georgia shows exactly what debt collectors are not supposed to do. The owner and six employees of Williams, Scott & Associates were arrested for allegedly accusing people of fraud and saying they would be arrested and face criminal charges for not repaying debts.
The debt collectors also allegedly misrepresented themselves as contracted workers for federal and state government agencies, including the Department of Justice and the U.S. Marshals. The company operated nationwide from 2009 through May 2014 and called itself Warrant Services Association.
2. Say They’ll Have You Arrested
Federal debt collection law also prohibits collectors from falsely claiming you have committed a crime or saying you will be arrested if you don’t repay the money they claim you owe. Collection agencies cannot issue arrest warrants or have you put in jail, and simply failing to repay a legitimate credit card debt, mortgage, car loan, or medical bill isn’t enough to land you in jail.
That being said, if you receive a legitimate order to appear in court related to a debt you allegedly owe and you don’t show up, the judge could issue a warrant for your arrest. And it’s true that if you fail to pay a court fine related to your debt – or refuse to pay taxes or child support – you could go to jail.
3. Publicize Your Debt
Debt collectors are not allowed to contact you by postcard, publish the names of people who have refused to pay them or talk to anyone other than you, your spouse or your attorney about your debt.
Debt collectors are allowed to contact third parties to try to track you down, but they’re only allowed to ask those people for your address, home phone number and place of employment – and they usually aren’t allowed to contact those people more than once.
Contact the Experts at Luce Law Today
Do you have questions about how to stand up against collection harassment? If so, please feel free to contact Luce Law at (972) 346-5170 with your questions or concerns. We’re always happy to offer our assistance.