Knowing that you owe money that you do not have the funds to pay can bring stress. If you find yourself dealing with relentless harassment from debt collectors in North Carolina, that stress can multiply until you reach a breaking point.
While it is not uncommon for debt collectors to contact you about past due bills, they cannot harass you without breaking the law. Your understanding of which behaviors qualify as harassment can help you protect yourself and know when to pursue legal action.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act or FDCPA protects you from unfair debt collection practices. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, harassment can include the following behavior:
- Threats to your safety
- Misrepresentation or refusing to provide identification
- Inappropriate or profane language
- Sharing your debts publicly
- Excessive phone calling
- Dishonesty about payment amounts
Dealing with harassment
As soon as you recognize your inability to pay your bills, contact your creditors to negotiate an alternative agreement. Sometimes, you can arrange a temporary payment plan until you have the finances to resume your prior responsibilities. You should not have to experience ongoing harassment, especially if you are actively working to address your debt situation.
If all else fails and you continually receive harassing communication from debt collectors, start to keep detailed records of your interactions. This information can provide support for your claim if you choose to sue a debt collector for damages. Even if you file for bankruptcy, you can still exercise your rights and dispute unfair treatment from debt collectors.