Debt collectors must follow certain guidelines as written under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which banishes the use of harassing or misrepresentative tactics. While harassment often gets media coverage, it is a different story for misrepresentation.
Just what is debt collector misrepresentation? How does it impact those who are in debt such as yourself, too?
What does the FDCPA protect you against?
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau examines actions debt collectors may take while seeking the debt owed. Some of these actions fall within their rights, but others fall under disallowed actions as the FDCPA states.
Debt collector misrepresentation may share some features with harassment, but it is generally considered its own category. Harassment often focuses on the intimidation of the target through verbal or even physical threats. It tends to focus on vulgar or aggressive language and repeated actions that could seem frightening or harmful to the person in debt.
Is this misrepresentation?
Misrepresentation focuses more on manipulative or coercive tactics to reach the same end. Their goal is to get you to hand over assets that you may not have at the time, and they will often lie or obfuscate the truth to do it. Examples of misrepresentation include:
- Pretending to be a legal authority or be working with legal authorities when they are not
- Threatening arrest when the police are not actually involved
- Lying about or misrepresenting the amount of debt you actually owe
- Lying about or misrepresenting the potential consequences you may face
If you are up against these behaviors, it could be debt collector misrepresentation, which you have protection from under the FDCPA. Consider contacting legal help to learn more.