The incessant phone calls at all hours. The embarrassing mail. The calls at work and at home. If this behavior sounds familiar to you, then you are being unfairly harassed. If that harassment is coming from third-party collectors, then there is a way to get some relief.
People who are on the receiving end of this kind of behavior in the U.S. are protected by the Federal Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). This Act is meant to keep third-party collectors from using unethical reasons to collect on debts. For example, third-party collectors cannot put your name on a “bad debt” list, threaten legal action they can’t take, use profane language, or call your children and extended family about your debt.
As a Minnesota resident, you’re protected by this federal law; it extends to all 50 states. This means that a third-party collector who engages in this kind of of behavior--along with a long list of other unethical actions--could be punished under the law. Pursuing legal action could be an effective way of getting the harassment to finally stop. Consider it.
Minnesota’s Debt Collection Protections
Minnesota is a state that has enacted its own consumer debt collection protection laws, such as Minnesota Statute §§332.31 to 332.45. What’s interesting about this statute is that it’s similar to the FDCPA because like the FDCPA, the law only covers third-party collectors--not financial institutions or original lenders.
The statute covers licensing regulations. Essentially, it stipulates that all debt collection institutions in Minnesota have to be licensed. This is done so that third-party collectors are less likely to engage in unsavory behavior because they can be tracked and held accountable.
The FDCPA's Protection for Consumers
Under the FDCPA, third-party collectors should not be engaging in certain aggressive debt collection practices. This includes the following practices:
- Asking you to pay more than you owe
- Threatening to freeze your bank account
- Calling you at odd hours, such as before 8 a.m. and after 9 p.m. in your time zone
- Threatening to seize your property
- Calling friends, extended family, or other people who are not authorized to discuss your debt
The FDCPA offers even more protections, so don’t be discouraged if the harassment you’ve experienced hasn’t been outlined here. The best way to find out whether you’re eligible to file a claim is to contact an FDCPA attorney.
Talk to An FDCPA Attorney Today
Receiving constant unwanted communication about your debt is not only emotionally draining--if those communications are public, then it can also be deeply embarrassing. If your debt is made public via phone calls with unauthorized parties or your name being published on a “bad debt” list, then there could be social and professional ramifications for you.
But there’s no reason to let that behavior stand. Get your life back by contacting an FDCPA attorney today. Your attorney can stop these third-party collectors from continuing to take advantage of your vulnerable position. That attorney can also help prepare your case so that you’ll be in the best position to win it.
Winning should make the harassment stop, and it may also mean that you gain compensation for the third-party collector’s bad behavior. You could get $1,000 for each FDCPA violation. You have every reason to contact an FDCPA attorney who will fight for you; don’t wait to do so.