Report Says 1-4 Consumers Contacted by Debt Collectors Feel Threatened
Many U.S. consumers feel threatened after talking with debt collectors on the phone. That’s the conclusion from a long-awaited report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). It’s a report that’s generating lots of national media buzz, and in this issue, we’ll talk about it as well as go over things that debt collectors are forbidden to do.
The Study at a Glance
For their study – which you can read here – the CFPB surveyed a sample of consumers between December 2014 and March 2015. The consumers were identified from credit reporting records. While talking with CFPB about their experiences with debt collectors:
- More than 1 in 4 said they felt threatened
- 3 in 4 said that requests to debt collectors to cease communication were ignored
- Over 1/3 said they were called by debt collectors between 9 pm and 8 am – which are forbidden by law
- Nearly 40% said they were contacted 4 or more times in a week; 17% reported getting 8 or more calls in a week
Personal Info Also At Risk
With the release of the disturbing information about the debt collectors, the CFPB also issued a snapshot of the online debt sales market. The selling of uncollected debt is perfectly legal, and it’s something we discussed in an earlier issue. The problem is that a number of the reported sites contained unencrypted personal information – including name, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, account numbers – that were and are available to anyone who visited those sites. That information can easily be used for personal identity theft.
Things Debt Collectors Are Prohibited From Doing
With help from the Federal Trade Commission, below are practices that debt collectors are forbidden by law from doing. If you catch them doing any of these, you can sue them in a state or federal court.
- Use threats of harm or violence
- Use profanity or obscene language
- Falsely claim they’re lawyers or representatives of the government
- Misrepresent the amount you owe
- Say that you’ll be arrested if you do not pay your debt
- Contact you at inconvenient times (before 8 am or after 9 pm) unless you agree to it
- Claim they’ll garnish your wages unless they’re permitted by law to do so
- Contact you by postcard
To Fight Back Against Abusive Creditors, Call The Oswalt Law Group in Arizona
If you’re in deep debt, you may feel that you don’t have any rights left – but you do! Call us and learn how to take legal action against a harassing creditor. The first consultation is always free, and our number is (602) 225-2222.