Money can make a debt collection agency cross the legal line in the quest to get you to pay off a delinquent credit card or a personal loan balance. Third party debt collectors benefit financially because either they are paid well by original creditors or they purchase outstanding consumer debts for just a fraction of the amount owed.
The pursuit of a financial windfall can lead some bill collectors to harass consumers over the phone. Phone harassment comes in several forms, with a vast majority of tactics in direct violation of a consumer protection that has been on the books since 1977. Unfortunately, far too many American consumers are unaware of their federal consumer protection rights.
Common Phone Call Harassment Violations of Federal Law
Until September 20, 1977, bill collectors used the telephone to badger consumers into taking care of delinquent debts. That all changed with the passage of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). According to the FDCPA, dozens of previously acceptable debt collection tactics became illegal, including harassing consumers by making phone calls using abusive language. The FDCPA also outlaws the practice of threatening to put consumers in jail for owing money on a credit card or personal loan account.
As the most common form of phone harassment, many debt collection agencies like to harass consumers over the phone repeatedly throughout the day. The calls come in fast before breakfast is even served, and the calls continue all day long until it is time to hit the sack. Even then, some third party debt collectors continue to harass consumers deep into the night. Under the FDCPA a bill collector crosses the legal line whenever it calls a consumer after 9 pm and before 8 am. The FDCPA prohibits the harassing practice of repeatedly calling consumers as well. If you are being harassed over the phone by a third party debt collector like Covington Credit, you should immediately speak with a licensed consumer protection lawyer.
Ways to Make Harassing Phone Calls Stop
Congress enacted the FDCPA to give consumers ways to end harassing bill collector phone calls. As perhaps the most effective method, sending a formal cease and desist notice clearly explains you wish for a debt collection agency to stop making phone calls to you at work and at home. However, you should have your FDCPA attorney draft and send the formal cease and desist notice. Your lawyer will use neutral language that clearly explains the ramifications of not complying with a cease and desist letter. He or she will also send the formal cease and desist notice by certified mail to ensure it arrives to the right person at Covington Credit.
Are You Entitled to Monetary Damages?
The FDCPA not only prohibits dozens of debt collection practices, it also punishes bill collectors that cross the legal line. You might be eligible to receive monetary damages for enduring physical and/or emotional distress. The key is for your FDCPA lawyer to present enough documentation and take the testimony of the best medical experts to confirm a link between your pain and the illegal actions taken by a debt collection agency.
Contact an experienced FDCPA attorney to learn how to stop the harassing phone calls made by Covington Credit.
*Disclaimer: The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be constructed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Covington Credit or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.