Debt Collector Harassment in Baton Rouge, LA
Debt collector harassment is the intimidation, bullying, abuse, or coercion of consumers into paying off the money they owe. In Baton Rouge, Louisiana there are two things to consider when thinking about debt collection: harassment and misrepresentation. The presence of either of these things constitutes debt collector harassment and may require you to take legal action against the collector.
Debt Collector Harassment in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Louisiana’s Debt Collection Law provides extra protection for Baton Rouge residents. Specifically, both original creditors and debt collectors must refrain from harassing practices such as:
- Mailing more than one notice per month
- Contacting a person that is not living or present in the debtor’s household
- Threatening violence, or criminal prosecution
- Using obscene or profane language
If you are a victim of any of these examples of harassment, you may have a right to sue the debt collector for violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). An experienced Baton Rouge attorney can help you identify your options and build a strong case.
Misrepresentations by a debt collector refer to someone making false claims or accusations or using false, deceptive, or misleading practices. This also includes misrepresenting any debt you may have. See some examples of this and other Illegal Debt Collection Practices below:
- The amount of money you owe
- False threats saying they will have you arrested
- Saying they are an attorney if they aren’t one
- Threats to do something that the debt collector has no intention of doing
- Threats to take actions that are not within the confines of the law
If you think any Baton Rouge, LA debt collectors may have misrepresented themselves to you, it’s important to remember that you have options. Get in contact with an attorney that understands debt collector law.
Who Are Debt Collectors?
Most people don’t know what a debt collector is until they have one incessantly calling them about paying off debt. So, who are debt collectors? Who do they work for?
Collectors come from a debt collection agency that works with creditors who are owed debts. If you have outstanding debt in Baton Rouge such as credit debt, unpaid loans, and personal loans, your creditor may contact a debt collection agency. This agency then assigns a debt collector to your case.
While the Louisiana government uses a centralized debt collection unit called the Office of Debt Recovery, most creditors tend to use private debt collection agencies. The Better Business Bureau provides a list of agencies operating in Baton Rouge, including:
- Alco Collections
- Capital City Collection Services LLC
- Spedate Acquisition Management
- E A Uffman & Associates Inc
What Should You Do If You’ve Been Harassed By a Debt Collector In Baton Rouge, Louisiana?
Step 1: Know Your Rights
If you think Baton Rouge debt collectors are harassing you, then it’s important to become familiar with the Basics of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The FDCPA was passed in 1977 to protect consumers from collection agencies. If a debt collector violates any of the harassment or misrepresentation rules, the victim has a right to sue the collector for violation of the FDCPA.
Step 2: Collect Records
Have you been harassed in Baton Rouge, LA by a debt collector? If so, it’s important to begin to gather evidence. If you are being harassed by a debt collector in Baton Rouge, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recommends documenting both electronic and paper correspondence. Specifically, you should save letters, envelopes, and voicemail messages. As well as text messages, and emails.
Additionally, you should always get the caller’s name, employee ID, and the company name and address. Remember to keep a record of the time of call, and what was said. Recording the calls may be an option, since Louisiana is a one-party consent state. However, this may only be possible if the debt collector is calling from within Louisiana.
Step 3: Remain Calm and Act Deliberately
When you’re being abused or harassed by a bullish Baton Rouge debt collector, it’s easy to get angry and act impulsively. Unfortunately, this can cause you to say or do something detrimental to your case. Instead, try to remain calm and make all your actions deliberate and well-thought-out. Not only will this be better for keeping your stress levels low, but it will prove helpful if you go to court. You can show that you were respectful and calm while the debt collector was the one using abusive language.
Step 4: Ask for Debt Verification
If you’re constantly getting phone calls from Baton Rouge, LA debt collectors harassing you about what you owe, you need to ask for debt verification. Not only will this show whether or not they are misrepresenting your debt, but the debt collector must also stop contacting you until they provide the information you requested. Debt verification should show the amount of debt you owe and the name of the creditor. You have 30 days to dispute the validity of the debt. If you don’t dispute the debt, the creditor will assume the debt is valid.
Step 5: Contact an Attorney
If you’re the victim of debt collector harassment, it’s time to stand up and fight back. You deserve to live a life free from abusive and repetitive phone calls. Baton Rouge attorneys that understand What to Expect When Suing for Debt Collection Harassment, and local debt collection laws, can help you make this possible. If the debt collector threatens to or does take legal action regarding your outstanding debts, working with an attorney becomes even more important.
Step 6: Present Your Case
By hiring an experienced Baton Rouge, LA debt collector attorney, you have a better chance of winning the lawsuit and getting financial compensation for abuses such as phone harassment.
Deciding where to file your debt collector harassment suit in Baton Rouge can be tricky. You may begin your case in the 19th Judicial District Court, serving East Baton Rouge Parish. Alternatively, you may also be able to file in US District Court, Middle District of Louisiana. An experienced Baton Rouge attorney can provide guidance on which jurisdiction is best for your case. The Federal Trade Commission states that you could be awarded up to $1,000. As well, you could be reimbursed for attorney fees and court costs. Moreover, if you can prove damages, such as lost wages or medical bills, you might even be awarded more.
Work With an Experienced Baton Rouge, Louisiana Debt Collector Harassment Lawyer
If you’ve experienced debt collector harassment in Baton Rouge, LA it’s time to put an end to it so you can move forward with life. There are laws in place to protect consumers from debt collectors. Legal assistance can help you to navigate these complex laws and defend yourself in court, if necessary.
Are you ready to find a debt collector attorney near you so you can finally fight back against the harassment? We can even help you connect with an attorney across Louisiana state lines.
Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!