If you’re one of many Wisconsin residents who are trying their best to rally to overcome serious financial problems, you may also understand what it’s like to encounter creditor harassment. Daily life can be stressful enough on its own without having to deal with relentless phone calls or abusive language from strangers on the other end of the line, as they threaten you or otherwise try to intimidate you simply because you owe someone money.
Perhaps you took out a loan to buy a house or a car, then were unable to meet your monthly payments because of a medical emergency, job loss or other financial matter. This does not give third-party companies the right to harass you to try to collect a debt. If you know your rights and where to seek support, you may be able to rectify such situations before they get out of hand.
Basic debt collection rules
It’s not a free rein game concerning debt collection practices in Wisconsin and throughout the nation. In fact, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act protects you against unlawful debt collection actions. The following information may be useful to help you overcome a particular debt collection problem:
- Debt collection agencies have boundaries to which they must adhere when attempting to collect a debt for another party. For instance, if they call you on the phone, it must be during reasonable business hours.
- Debt collectors also can’t show up unannounced at your workplace to try to collect a debt. In fact, they can’t even contact you at work if your employer has a policy against such practices.
- Some of these agencies will try to get to you through your family members or friends. However, they can’t call the same third party more than once, and they can’t, under any circumstances, reveal information regarding the fact that you owe a debt if they do speak with one of your relatives or friends.
- If you send a letter to a debt collector to request that contact immediately cease, the debt collector must comply with your request. This action, however, does not eliminate your debt.
- Any type of abusive language, threat of penalty, violence or other personal harm, or misrepresentation of identity or information is harassment.
The FDCPA protects you against unlawful debt collection behavior. You are definitely not the first person in Wisconsin to encounter financial trouble, nor will you be the last. The good news is that most financial crises are temporary. What matters most is that you understand what options are available to resolve your problem and also how to access outside support to help you stop creditor harassment or other unlawful debt collection practices.