Debt collectors often use whatever means they have on hand to try getting what they need out of you. Unfortunately, this has a history of crossing lines, which is why the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) exists.
But debt collectors to this day continue to break laws and behave in threatening ways toward those in debt. These behaviors often fall into one of two categories: harassment or misrepresentation.
What is harassment?
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau examines forms of debt collector misrepresentation. This differs from harassment in several notable ways. First of all, harassment often focuses on using intimidation, threats or profanity to scare a person into doing what the debt collector wants. Examples include cursing someone out or yelling at them.
They also make a nuisance of themselves to try forcing you into an uncomfortable position. A common tactic in this regard involves calling your house repeatedly at all hours and refusing to identify themselves or leave any message.
How does misrepresentation differ?
Misrepresentation focuses on misrepresenting facts or truths in order to get the reaction they want. For example, a debt collector may pretend they are also an attorney and threaten to sue you. They could pretend that they have an arrest warrant from the police even if they do not.
They can even lie about things like the amount of money you actually owe. But if you believe they are taking any of these actions, you can turn to the FDCPA. Consider seeking legal help to determine what steps to take next as you protect yourself from these illegal practices.