CREDITORS AND DEBT COLLECTORS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO THREATEN TO TAKE ANY ACTION THAT IS NOT LEGAL OR THAT IT DOES NOT INTEND TO TAKE
Has a debt collector or creditor threatened to take some kind of action against you?
Debt collectors have become increasingly aggressive in their attempts to collect on consumer's unpaid accounts. Some even resort to threatening to harm consumers, their families, and their pets. But the threats from a bill collector do not have to be threats to do something illegal, such as to commit violence, in order to be in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) or the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (RFDCPA). The Acts prohibit creditors and debt collectors from threatening to take any action that they do not intend to take. Some common actions creditors and debt collectors may threaten to take against a consumer include:
- Filing a law suit
- Repossessing the consumer's property
- Garnishing a debtor's wages
- Reporting the account as delinquent to credit reporting agencies
- Having the consumer arrested if they do not pay the bill
A debt collector cannot have you arrested for not paying a bill and the FDCPA specifically prohibits them from threatening to have you arrested or implying that they will if you do not pay. They may also not threaten you with repossession of your property if they are not legally able to repossess it
and do not actually intend to proceed with repossession. Many collectors threaten to come into consumer's homes and take property that they have no legal right to take in order to scare them into paying a bill. Unless your property was used as collateral for a debt, such as a vehicle on which you have a loan, or personal property you are renting from a rental company, a debt collector has no right to take it in order to satisfy a debt. If a collector does have a legal right to take your property, it still cannot threaten to take it unless it intends to actually repossess it. Filing a law suit, garnishing your wages, or reporting the account as delinquent to credit reporting bureaus may be options for a debt collector, but not always, and they cannot threaten to do any of these things unless they intend to do them.
If a creditor or debt collector has threatened to take any action against you that it has no right to take, even if that action is not illegal, they may be in violation of the law. Please contact our office for a free, no obligation case review at 1-800-219-3577.