New Jersey residents sometimes fall on hard financial times. In these situations, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. What do you do next? Where do you turn? In your most vulnerable moment, unscrupulous collection agencies may try to harass you.

But harassment by debt collectors is illegal. Today we will discuss how to tell if a debt collector is harassing you. We will look at the measures you can take to stop this from happening.

What is creditor harassment?

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau discusses what constitutes harassment by debt collectors. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) define harassment. They say it is any action that intends to annoy or abuse the target. This includes things like:

  • Repeated phone calls with the intent to scare or annoy you
  • Calling without identifying themselves
  • Using profane or obscene language against you
  • Publishing your information on a public blacklist in an attempt to shame or scare you
  • Threatening you with harm or violence

Do debt collectors need to physically harm you?

It is important for you to know that creditors and debt collectors do not need to “make good” on threats. The act of threatening you is illegal under FDCPA. This includes non-verbal threats as well. For example, let us say a debt collection agent parks outside of your house. They do not do anything. They only sit in their car and observe. Despite their lack of action, this “stake-out” is ominous and meant to make you feel threatened. It is harassment.

There are many ways to ensure debt collectors stop harassing you. For example, what if you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy? By doing this, creditors and credit agencies must leave you alone. This is something to consider.