Debt Collector Harassment in Columbus, OH
Debt collector harassment is the intimidation, bullying, abuse, or coercion of consumers into paying off the money they owe. In Columbus, Ohio 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 Columbus, Ohio
According to Ohio’s Attorney General, residents of Columbus are protected by federal and state law against debt collector harassment. In fact, the Attorney General’s Office itself filed suit against Ohio-based Advanced Capital Solutions for debt collection harassment. Some of these illegal practices include:
- Trying to collect debts that are already paid
- Sharing debt information with third parties, such as employers
- Calling between the hours of 9:00pm and 8:00am
- Calling continuously with intent to harass
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 Columbus 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 Columbus, OH 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 Columbus 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.
If you have overdue accounts in Columbus, you may have to deal with a debt collection agency such as Turbo Debt Recovery, Tek-Collect, or Payliance. The Better Business Bureau can provide you with a list of accredited debt collection agencies operating in and around Columbus.
What Should You Do If You’ve Been Harassed By a Debt Collector In Columbus, Ohio?
Step 1: Know Your Rights
If you think Columbus 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 Columbus, OH by a debt collector? If so, it’s important to begin to gather evidence.
Ohio’s Attorney General recommends sending a stop contact letter to the debt collector by certified mail, so you’ll have proof it was sent. If the harassment continues, you should save all documents received, even if they are upsetting. As well, you should save all voicemail, texts, and emails. If the collection agency is calling you from within Ohio, you may be able to record the conversations. This may be possible because Ohio is a one-party consent state.
Step 3: Remain Calm and Act Deliberately
When you’re being abused or harassed by a bullish Columbus 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 Columbus, OH 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. Columbus 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 Columbus, OH debt collector attorney, you have a better chance of winning the lawsuit and getting financial compensation for abuses such as phone harassment.
A Columbus debt collector harassment case could be filed in US District Court, Southern District of Ohio or in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas. This is because harassment by a debt collector violates both federal and state laws. Making this decision is a key first step in the process, so it is advisable to consult an experienced Columbus attorney.
Additionally, according to the Federal Trade Commission you could be awarded for damages such as lost wages and medical bills. Even if you can’t prove damages, you could still receive up to $1,000 and be reimbursed for attorney fees and court costs. However, even if you win a harassment case, you may still be liable for the debt.
Work With an Experienced Columbus, Ohio Debt Collector Harassment Lawyer
If you’ve experienced debt collector harassment in Columbus, OH 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 Ohio 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!