Threats from Collectors – What Counts
Are you receiving threatening calls from collectors?
What constitutes a threat under the law?
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is designed to protect
consumers from threatening collectors. The
FDCPA makes it
illegal to do the following:
- Call the consumer’s place of work “if the debt collector knows
or has reason to know that the consumer’s employer prohibits” such
calls. If you or anyone at your employment told the
collector that such calls are prohibited, the collection calls at
your job must stop. If not, the collector is violating 15
U.S.C. §1692c(a)(3) by continuing to call you at work.
- Discussing your debt to a third party. If the collector
is discussing your debt to a third party, whether it is a
co-worker, boss, family or friend, they are violating 15 U.S.C.
§1692b(2) and 15 U.S.C. §1692c(b). The only reason a
collector can call a third party is to confirm or correct location
information for the consumer. 15 U.S.C. §1692b(1)
- Threaten to take legal action that is not intended to be taken
or can not legally be taken. If the collector tells you
that if you don’t pay today I will sue you tomorrow, but has been
saying this for weeks, then that threat is violating the FDPCA
because it the threat of a lawsuit was only a scare technique.
- Using obscene language or language intended to incite the
consumer. This includes calling the consumer a deadbeat or
For the FDPCA to be applicable, the caller needs to be a debt
collector and not an original creditor. 15 U.S.C.
If a debt collector continues to call you at work after
expressly telling them to stop, you have rights. You can sue
them under the FDCPA. For a free
case review, contact SmithMarco, P.C. SmithMarco, P.C.,
has over 30 years of combined experience practicing law protecting
the rights of consumers around the country. We can sue on
your behalf incurring no out of pocket costs and obtaining up to
$1000 for violations. Call