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What qualifies as harassment?

No one likes being reminded of the debts that they owe, least of all those whose balances are long past due. As one representing creditors in West Palm Beach, you likely understand this better than most. People may often get defensive when told of their outstanding liabilities, and thus may be quick to accuse you of harassing them. Creditor harassment is an issue that federal regulators take very seriously. Therefore, you will want to be sure that you understand exactly what actions qualify as harassment

Fortunately, federal legislation has left little room for interpretation on what is considered creditor harassment. Indeed, harassing actions are defined very clearly in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, these include: 

  • Repetitious phone calls intentionally meant to annoy, abuse or harass
  • The use of obscene or profane language
  • Threatening to use violence against a debtor
  • Publishing information listing people who have outstanding debts
  • Not identifying yourself or your intent when calling

Some of these definitions go without saying; you know better than to be profane or intimidating in your communications with debtors. Yet others simply require proper management in order to avoid being considered harassment. For example, you can continue to call a debtor about a debt; you simply cannot call during times that have specifically asked you not to contact them or at odd hours. 

Similarly, reporting debtors to credit reporting agencies is not the same as publishing their information in a harassing manner. Identifying yourself and stating your intention to collect on a debt at the commencement of any communication also distinguishes your actions from harassment. 

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CreditorCollections, A Law Firm

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