When Maryland residents fall into debt, you may come across debt collectors. These people work to ensure you pay your debts to the people you owe. Debt collection is a tricky field to navigate, though.
Sometimes, debt collectors are forceful. But the law prohibits them from harassing people they collect from. Is your debt collector harassing you?
What are examples of harassment?
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau describes harassment by debt collectors. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) ensures that debt collectors cannot harass you. Harassment in this scenario is anything that abuses, oppresses or harasses you. Some examples include:
- Threatening to harm you
- Threats of violent acts
- Profane or obscene language
- Publishing public blacklists of people who do not repay debts
- Repeated phone calls made with the intention to harass, threaten or abuse
Is harassment always physical?
It often surprises people that so many things are “harassment”. But harassment is not only the act of physically harming or threatening someone. Harassment is often much more subtle than that.
For example, let us say that a debt collector parks outside of your house. They do not do anything. But the intent of parking there is to make you feel anxious, fearful or threatened. They are not on your property and they are not doing anything against you. But this is still considered harassment. You could argue that they made a threat of harm by forcing you and your family to feel watched or menaced.
There are many ways to prevent creditors from harassing you. Filing for bankruptcy is one of them. As soon as you file for bankruptcy, all creditors and collection agencies must leave you alone by law.