There are a multitude of reasons why debt goes unpaid, the most prevalent being the loss of a job or an injury that keeps you from returning to work. Whatever the reason, some creditors use less than scrupulous means to acquire what is owed; some even cross over the line from fair credit repayment practices to unlawful credit repayment practices.
If you feel like you have been targeted by an organization that is practicing unlawful means to try to coerce you into making a payment, know the signs and your rights as a consumer to prevent rogue creditors from trying to coerce you into paying:
The people who are most likely to be the victim of inscrutable collection agency tactics are those who do not have a good grasp of English and/or the elderly. It is no secret that the immigrant population and the elderly are often targeted to make a payment on a delinquent account because they are easily frightened. An immigrant may be told that he or she is going to be deported unless a payment is soon made. An elderly person may be the victim of an abusive creditor who warns that he or she will lose their home unless a payment is not forthcoming in the near future.
When such tactics are employed, the law is on your side, not the side of the creditor.
Creditors and collection services have been known to employ such tactics, pretending to be someone they are not such as a law enforcement official to try and collect money. They threaten to take personal property, they often use inappropriate and profane language or they often contact a relative to try to coerce the relative into making the payment on behalf of their delinquent loved one. This happens most when a parent is contacted because a child is behind in payments. The collection service hopes to appeal to the parent(s) sense of protection for their child, regardless that the child is an adult and the parent(s) had nothing to do with the circumstances of the loan.
Be advised that these practices are in direct violation under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA), and are illegal.
If the creditor insists on continuing to use unlawful tactics, you are well within your legal right to bring forth a law suit, especially if the violations continue after the creditor has been warned that it is in direct violation of the FDCPA. It is a good idea to have at least one witness who will attest in a court of law that you have been the victim of harassment. If possible, other evidence such as a recording documenting the language that the collector uses could also serve as powerful confirmation, wherein you could even receive punitive damages if the court agrees that you were victimized. Learn more about how id theft protection can benefit you.