Mississippi Consumers Can Stop Creditor Harassment
Debt collection is a huge industry in the U.S. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reports that the debt collection industry creates about $12.2 billion in revenue annually. In their quest to recover money, many debt collectors engage in harassing tactics, such as calling repeatedly, screaming or swearing at consumers on the phone or threatening people. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act prohibits debt collectors from abusing consumers. However, many Mississippi consumers are unaware of the protections the law offers and think that they have no recourse against abusive collections practices. However,once people know what debt collectors may not do when collecting debts, they can take action to stop creditor harassment.Understanding consumers' rights
The FDCPA makes it illegal for third-party debt collectors to use deceptive or abusive techniques for collecting debts. Third-party debt collectors are companies whose main course of business is debt collection. The FDCPA does not apply to collection methods of companies with which consumers originally incurred the debt, such as stores and credit card companies.
Some of the common ways that debt collectors violate the FDCPA include:
- Calling consumers before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m.
- Calling consumers at work after consumers have told the collector that they may not receive such phone calls at work.
- Verbally harassing or threatening consumers.
- Threatening consumers with jail for non-payment.
- Pretending to be an officer of the court or sending communications intended to look like court documents.
- Speaking with third parties about the debt without the consumer's permission.
- Calling after the consumer has given written notice for the collector to stop communications.
Mississippi consumers can take steps to end creditor harassment. People can write "cease and desist" letters to debt collectors, telling them not to communicate with the consumer anymore. If the debt collector persists in contacting the consumer, the consumer can file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or the Mississippi Attorney General's Office. Some consumers choose to file suit against debt collectors for FDCPA violations.Consider bankruptcy
Even if debt collectors stop calling or writing, it does not mean that the debts they are trying to collect go away. Those who are suffering from creditor harassment because they have overwhelming debts may want to investigate whether filing bankruptcy would be an appropriate means for reorganizing their financial situations. If you are struggling to make ends meet and cannot pay your debts, speak with a skilled Mississippi debt relief attorney who can help find the best debt relief option for your situation.