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As a resident of Maryland, you may be looking into debt relief options. Your decision-making process could get impeded or sped up due to the harassment you may be facing at the hands of debt collection agencies.

Though it is illegal for debt collectors to harass you, they do not always follow the law. In these situations, is there anything you can do to relieve the burden of debt?

What is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau discusses the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). This act came into existence when debt collectors began growing too aggressive in their pursuit of money. Under FDCPA, certain tactics of gaining payments became illegal. This included anything that oppresses, harasses or abuses you or anyone else debt collectors contact.

Some examples of the harassment you may face includes:

       Use of profane or obscene language

       Threats of harm or violence

       Calling you but refusing to identify themselves

       Repeated phone calls with the intention of annoying, abusing or harassing those in your household

Use of public shame tactics

Public shame lists are another abusive tactic. This involves the debt collection agency publishing a list – usually online – with the information of people who owe them debts. Reporting this information to a crediting agency is within their right. But involving the public and using that to shame or intimidate you is against the FDCPA.

Unfortunately, the FDCPA does not stop debt collectors from engaging in wrongful behavior. Filing for bankruptcy is one way to stop their abuse in its tracks. You can speak with a financial advisor or attorney to learn more about your options there.