There is a common misconception that financial hardship only hits those who spend recklessly. This is far from the case, as divorce, employment issues and medical bills are all potential costs that can impact anyone.
If you owe money then it’s likely that creditors will try and contact you. In many cases, they bring in third parties to act on their behalf, otherwise known as debt collectors. Debt collectors are permitted to contact you but they are also subjected to rules and regulations. They are certainly not allowed to harass you.
The following behaviors from debt collectors are inappropriate and could amount to harassment.
Sharing details in public
Public shaming can cause severe distress for those on the receiving end, and this is easier to do now with social media. At the click of a button, your name, address and other personal details can be shared with thousands of people. The debt that you owe is between you and the creditor, and in some cases, the courts. These details should not be shared with the wider public in an attempt to shame you. If a debt collection agency has used this as a tactic to try and get you to pay up, they are breaking the law and could be committing harassment.
Causing you to feel threatened
Debt collection agencies do have certain powers but these are restricted. Whether they are visiting your home, contacting you by phone or sending written correspondence, the language used should never be threatening. For instance, a home visit should never consist of intimidating body language or threats of violence. These visits should also never take place after 9 p.m. or at unsociable hours. It’s important to note that debt collection agencies are not law enforcement. They do not have the power to arrest you or threaten you with arrest.
Being in debt can leave you feeling isolated and out of options, but there are things you can do. Seeking legal guidance can help you to get your finances back on track.