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When are collection efforts considered harassment?

New Jersey consumers who are overrun by debt know how stressful and overwhelming it can be to feel out of control. You may find yourself in a similar situation, wondering how you will ever catch up on your owed balances and make the phones calls, letters and other collection efforts stop. However, it is possible that what you are experiencing is not normal collection practices but falls into the category of harassment.

Creditor harassment is illegal, but it still happens. While creditors and debt collectors have the right to attempt to collect on owed balances, they may not violate your rights. If you are a victim of this type of harassment or simply want to make all the collection efforts stop, you have options.

What can debt collectors do?

It is legal for a debt collector to call, send letters and attempt other forms of contact to collect on the money you owe. When they call or contact you, they must disclose that they are debt collectors. There are certain things, however, that these companies and individuals cannot do, including:

  • They may not call you at work if you have asked them not to do so.
  • They do not have the right to call you before 8 in the morning or at other unreasonable hours.
  • They cannot pretend to be someone else or attempt to deceive you in any way.
  • They may not use inappropriate language, threats or other coercive means to convince you to pay.
  • They cannot make false claims, threaten arrest or lie to you.

Phone calls and other means of contact are normal things to experience if you are overrun by debt. Repossession, wage garnishment and other things are also normal consequences of past due balances, but you still have rights. By filing for bankruptcy, you can enact the automatic stay. This will halt further contact from creditors. Additionally, you have the right to take legal action if you experienced illegal harassment from creditors.

Debt freedom is possible

You may not think that you should file for bankruptcy, but it could be the right choice for you. Not only could it help you confront your debt in a proactive, organized way, it will also give you a reprieve from the constant contact of creditors.

It could be beneficial for you to seek a full understanding of the benefits of bankruptcy, as well as how you should proceed if you believe you are a victim of illegal or inappropriate collection practices.

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