Collector Harassment Basics

What you need to know to fight back against abusive debt collection practices.

How to defend against debt collector abuse

There’s a fine line between collectors being appropriately aggressive and downright abusive. When a debt collector crosses that line, they break the law – and you have rights to fight back and even seek compensation for their bad behavior.

In this section, we cover some basics about debt collector harassment that are good to know before you move forward to file a complaint. We cover everything from the laws that protect your rights against collector harassment to the resource you have if it happens to you. We also help you understand exactly when being assertive crosses the line into abuse, so you know when you have the right to fight back.

Fact: 3989 FDCPA lawsuits were filed in the 1st quarter of 2013 alone!

If you think you’re facing real harassment from a debt collector, don’t tolerate it for another call! Call us at 1-888-459-5452 or complete the form to the right to request the help you need.

How to fight back against harassing debt collectors

These are the steps that you’ll usually take when you have a complaint to file against a debt collector:

  1. The first step you need to take is to accurately identify that you’re being harassed. Sometimes a collector can seem abusive when really they’re just doing their job. So use the resources below to correctly identify the harassment you face.
  2. Once you’ve identified harassment that crosses the line, you can file a complaint with the FTC (Fair Trade Commission) or CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau). You may also be able to file with your state’s Attorney General. If you choose to move forward with pursuing the complaint through the legal system, then this may be done by the licensed attorney you hire in the next step.
  3. Contact a licensed debt collection harassment attorney. Make sure the person or team you hire is licensed to work on this kind of case in your state. Services vary, so some providers may help with filing the complaint, while others may simply work to stop the harassment and seek compensation.
  4. If your attorney decides you have a case, you could be compensated. In some cases you may be able to receive statutory damages for the abuse. The amount received is typically capped at $1,000. Depending on the type of abuse, you may also be able to claim “actual damages” which means the payout could be even more.

Understanding the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act

Understanding fair debt collection
This is the key piece of federal legislation in the U.S. that protects your rights against abusive and harassing collection practices. We go into detail (in plain English) about what the law says and what it means for you as a consumer. Know the law so you can know if you have a case.

What Really Counts as Collector Harassment?

Harassing calls from debt collectors
There’s a really fine line between a debt collector being acceptably aggressive in order to collect a debt and being unlawfully abusive. We help you understand exactly where that line is so you can correctly identify debt collector harassment if you think that it’s happening to you.

Addressing Debt Collection Complaints

Make sure your collection complaints are heard
Once you’ve identified the abuse or harassment, it’s time to take action! We walk you through the process to file a complaint with the federal or state government, as well as how you can decide if you want to pursue additional legal action with the help of a licensed attorney.