two people shaking hands

When you owe a debt, knowing it exists can be overwhelming enough. However, when a debt collector begins pursuing that debt, you may feel trapped. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for debt collectors to become aggressive when pursuing a debt. As such, it is vital to familiarize yourself with the behaviors that debt collectors must follow to protect yourself and hold them accountable for their violations. The following blog explores the behaviors that violate the rules in place and how a San Diego County debt collection harassment lawyer can help you sue a debt collector to recover the compensation you may be entitled to.

Do Debt Collectors Have Rules to Follow?

When you owe a debt, the lender will often hire a third party to collect the money on their behalf or sell it to another company. Once this occurs, and a third-party collector is responsible for collecting the debt you owe, they must follow the rules. The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) dictates how collectors can interact with consumers by outlining acceptable and unacceptable behaviors.

Generally, the following actions and behaviors are prohibited under these rules:

  • Making repeated phone calls in a short period
  • Calling before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
  • Calling you at work after you’ve informed them you cannot take personal calls on the job
  • Using vulgar or abusive language
  • Misrepresenting themselves as a lawyer or law enforcement officer
  • Threatening to sue you if they have no intention of actually doing so
  • Collecting unauthorized fees
  • Failing to identify themselves
  • Publishing your name as a debtor in a newspaper or online

If you are being harassed by a debt collector, it’s important to document all violations of the FDCPA. This can include call logs showing they are calling too often or outside of the permitted window, debt validation notices that include unauthorized fees, or your name published publically.

If They Violate These Rules, Can I Sue the Debt Collector?

If a debt collector violates these laws, it can constitute harassment, which warrants a lawsuit. Generally, for each FDCPA violation, you can be awarded up to $1,000 in statutory damages. Additionally, you may want to seek compensation for any non-economic damages you’ve suffered as a result of the harassment, like humiliation, mental distress, or anxiety.

It’s also necessary to stress the importance of connecting with an experienced attorney for these matters. Unfortunately, trying to navigate a debt harassment lawsuit on your own can be incredibly challenging, so connecting with a lawyer can help improve your chances of a favorable outcome.

At Barthel Legal, we understand how frustrating it can be to face constant harassment about a debt you owe. That’s why our dedicated team will do everything possible to assist you through these complex matters to help you get the justice you deserve. Connect with us today to learn how we can assist you.