Debt collectors must follow certain laws that protect those in debt from harassment. In addition, they cannot misrepresent themselves, either. This helps people like you stay safe.
But what does misrepresentation mean in this case? How do you know if a debt collector is committing misrepresentation with you?
Harassment and misrepresentation
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau examines debt collector misrepresentation. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) determines what is and is not within a debt collector’s reasonable scope of action. They do this for both potentially harassing practices and misrepresentation.
Misrepresentation can come in many forms. For example, a debt collector could lie about the power they can exercise against you. They can make claims of arrest when they have no reasonable cause. They may also make threats that they have no means or intention of following through on.
What do debt collectors lie about?
Debt collectors may also lie about themselves. Some could pretend to be an attorney, or hold legal power where they have none. They can also lie about you, such as misrepresenting the amount of money you actually owe.
Sometimes there is overlap between the two. A debt collector might engage in potentially harassing practices while misrepresenting themselves. In either case, you can take legal action against them. If you win the case, the judge often orders the debt collector to pay your legal expenses on top of potential reparations.
You can also choose to file for bankruptcy. Doing so gives you protection against all debt collecting practices, as it makes it illegal for debt collectors to contact you.