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When Do Nasty Credit Calls Become Unlawfully Abusive?

If you’ve fallen behind in your bills, you’ve probably heard from your creditors. First, they send a notice through the mail, but if you don’t respond, you may get a phone call. Or two. Or hundreds. When the calls start, you’re probably embarrassed and apologetic. But then the calls continue. And the caller becomes nasty. He insults you and even makes veiled threats. Now you are justifiably angry. The question is, what can you do about it?

The answer can be found in Section 806 of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. This federal law protects consumers from harassing and abusive phone calls. The law prohibits behavior such as:

  • Threats of violence or threats to a person’s reputation or property
  • Obscene, profane or abusive language
  • Causing a telephone to ring or engaging any person in telephone conversation repeatedly or continuously with intent to annoy, abuse, or harass
  • Anonymous phone calls

If a collector engages in any of this behavior, you may be able to sue for actual damages (compensation to you for any harm you suffered as a direct result of the abusive collection practices) or statutory damages up to $1,000. Of course, you have to be able to prove the abuse happened.

Another way to deal with abusive collectors is to halt them in their tracks with an automatic stay. When you file for bankruptcy, the court issues an order prohibiting your creditors from contacting you for collection purposes. At DebtStoppers, our bankruptcy attorneys have put a stop to harassing phone calls for hundreds of clients. We can help you get the peace of mind that comes with an effective plan for debt resolution.

Call us at 800-440-7235 or contact our office online to schedule a free consultation with an experienced bankruptcy attorney.

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