Debt collectors can be pretty aggressive when they’re in pursuit. In past blogs, we’ve discussed several practices that have been specifically banned by consumer protection legislation. In many cases, the law is on your side.
One of the most sneaky ways a collector gets to a debtor is through an acquaintance. It’s a tactic that they know to be embarrassing, and therefore highly effective. Though the collector is forbidden from revealing the reason for the call, they may give a cryptic message about something “of vital importance”, or claim that they “just need to get ahold of” the debtor. This type of urgency can only serve to pique curiosity, and therefore cause more inconvenience and stress to the person at which these practices are aimed.
Don’t pay out of embarrassment.
These people know what they’re doing. They know the effect their calls will have on the neighborhood gossip, and they assume the debtor will pay to make it all go away (whether the debt is legitimate or not!)
If this happens to you, try to take a step back and refrain from knee-jerking. If the debt is hefty enough, the cost of breaking down and paying it may be much more of a burden than dealing with the problem another way.
Find out your rights, and stop the harassment.
When it comes to debt collection, often if you feel your rights have been violated, they have. Consumer protection legislation specifically guards debtors from harassing practices. Use it!
If your neighbor comes knocking at your door with a mysterious message, play your cards close to the chest and contact an attorney. Legal representation can help you to sort out what’s annoying from what’s illegal. You might even be entitled to compensation if the contact has crossed a line.
The attorneys at Northwest Debt have a great deal of experience with creditors, and we can help you avoid the embarrassment and get back on your feet again.