Connecticut residents who have fallen into debt may find themselves being pestered by debt collectors or collection agencies. While in many cases these instances are just annoying, they can be potentially harmful and frightening if the collector uses tactics that are considered illegal.
FindLaw starts by taking a look at the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), started solely to protect people from aggressive, unlawful debt collection tactics. It prohibits debt collectors from doing any of the following:
- Continuous or repeated calling
- Not ceasing upon request
- Calling or visiting at all hours
- Deceiving people or misrepresenting themselves or information
- Public shame such as publishing the customer's name on a "bad debt" list
- Reporting false information or threatening to do so
- Threatening arrest or using profane language
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau also makes it clear that debt collectors are not allowed to call without identifying themselves every time, especially as this may otherwise be construed as a threat. Other threatening behavior can include showing up at a person's home directly, or contacting them at their place of employment if the employer has disallowed it.
Finally, if debt collectors continue to contact a person for any reason after they have filed for bankruptcy, this is also considered abuse as filing for bankruptcy or speaking through an attorney are both grounds to completely halt communication.
Anyone who feels as though they are being threatened or harassed by debt collectors may be able to seek relief through legal means. Holding them to the FDCPA can help end this behavior.