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Illegal Debt Collection Practices: Threatening You

Debt collector threats can strike fear into the heart of the most stoic consumer. Although the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) prohibits a debt collector from threatening you, it doesn’t seem to stop them. Indeed, debt collectors have been known to threaten violence, threaten to take a person’s home, and threaten to have a person arrested. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Property Threats

The FDCPA expressly forbids either the threat or use of violence to harm you, your reputation, or your property. So, for example, a typical debt collection threat might be that they will foreclose on your house if you don’t pay up. However, unless you used your house, car, or other property as collateral for the particular debt for which the collector is trying to get payment, then it is illegal for him or her to threaten to take or repossess that property. For example, if it’s a hospital bill or phone bill that they are collecting, they have no right to any property. Of course, this doesn’t include mortgages or car loans, which are secured by the property. For example, if it’s a hospital bill or phone bill that they are collecting, they have no right to any property.

Other Types of Threats

As previously mentioned, debt collection threats take a number of forms. A debt collector may threaten to call your boss, threaten to have you arrested, threaten to hurt you, or threaten to take criminal action if you don’t give him post-dated checks. He may even threaten to deposit your post-dated checks earlier that he should. All of these behaviors are illegal under the FDCPA.

How to Fight Back Against Threats

If you’ve been threatened by a debt collector, it’s important to fight back. First, keep a record of every conversation you have with the debt collector, and write down the ways in which he threatened you. This kind of documentation can help you establish that the debt collector violated the FDCPA.

Second, write a cease and desist letter.Remember, a debt collector can’t contact anyone you know once you’ve told them to stop.

Third, contact a fair debt attorney. If the debt collection agency has violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, you are entitled to actual damages, attorney fees, and up to $1,000. The legal team at will provide you with a free case evaluation, and will represent you free of charge if you’ve been the victim of threatening debt collection practices. Complete the form to the right or call to get help.

Finally, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC is responsible for enforcing the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and uses consumer complaints to detect patterns of abuse. Complaints like yours are the driving factor in lawsuits filed by the FTC against unethical debt collectors.

Lemberg & Associates’ team
of consumer attorneys is highly
skilled and ready to help you
with debt collector abuse.

If you have been the victim of harassment or illegal or unfair debt collection practices, Lemberg & Associates will discuss your options with you and protect your rights. For more information, contact Lemberg & Associates today at .

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"The FDCPA is a consumer protection statute and was intended to permit, even encourage, attorneys like Lemberg to act as private attorney generals to pursue FDCPA claims."

U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Evon v. Law Offices of Sidney Mickell
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