It’s official. You are worried about debt. If you are not, someone nearby certainly is. A study of financial stress showed that New Hampshire residents are suffering emotional stress because they are concerned about paying back debts. The only financial stress equal to debt is worrying about not being able to afford a life-event emergency.

Owing money to lenders, creditors or even personal friends is often part of getting a life on track or pursuing a new venture. Many people are not concerned as much about their level of debt as they are with the consequences of owing. New Hampshire’s Department of Justice has identified several debt collection practices that can border on abuse.

Constant calls to debtors’ phones or homes, combined with the harassing and occasionally deceptive tones of these interactions, cause a lot of emotional stress for people who owe as well as their families. Some creditors or collection agencies may use foul language, target their calls for bad times like dinner or night and lie to get information or extract payment.

Regardless of debts, these practices are unethical and may constitute a breach of contract or even a criminal act. Debtors should always remain calm, keep control and record details of suspect interactions, so they can be reported to the Department of Justice.

An attorney can help judge the positions of creditors and debtors while finding the best way out of a tough situation. Debt restructuring, managing creditor demands or filing for bankruptcy is often more effective for debtors when they have legal representation on their side.