When dealing with debt, the last thing you want on top of this already profound stress is the pestering of debt collectors. While debt collector harassment often gets a lot of press, that is not only wrong they can do.
Debt collector misrepresentation is another big issue. But what exactly is this, and what sort of impact does it have on you?
The definition of misrepresentation
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau discusses debt collector misrepresentation, which often gets minimal press compared to harassment. This is often because it is less extreme and “news-worthy” compared to cases of harassment, which often involve the use of vulgar language, threats or even physical violence in some cases.
Comparatively, misrepresentation often focuses on more underhanded tactics that a debt collector may use to purposely confuse you. They aim to take advantage of this confusion to get you to give in to their demands, often at the expense of your mental well-being and sense of security.
Examples of misrepresentation
Some examples of misrepresentation by debt collectors include:
- A debt collector pretending to be a legal expert or having an attorney working on their side when they do not have one
- The false claim that they will soon have you arrested when the police have no reason to do so
- Lying about or misrepresenting the exact amount that you owe
- Lying about or misrepresenting the potential consequences you face if you do not comply
These tactics can do just as much harm as harassment. Thus, if you face debt collector misrepresentation, you can and should consider seeking refuge under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) which covers such behavior.