Debt Collector Harassment in Dallas, TX
Debt collector harassment is the intimidation, bullying, abuse, or coercion of consumers into paying off the money they owe. In Dallas, Texas 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 Dallas, Texas
Debt collection in Dallas is regulated by both federal law and the state’s Texas Debt Collection Act. Unlike the federal laws, Texas law applies to original creditors as well as debt collection agencies. Both laws prohibit harassing actions, including:
- Threats of violence
- Profane or obscene language
- Falsely accusing you of fraud or other crimes, or threatening arrest
- Threatening repossession or seizure of property without proper court proceedings
- Calling anonymously or making continuous, repeated calls
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 Dallas 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 Dallas, TX 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 Dallas 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.
Dallas is home to hundreds of debt collection agencies. Some of these include Real Time Resolutions, Credence Resource Management, and Southwest Recovery Services. To make sure the company calling you is a legitimate agency, you can look them up online. The Better Business Bureau is a good resource to start with.
What Should You Do If You’ve Been Harassed By a Debt Collector In Dallas, Texas?
Step 1: Know Your Rights
If you think Dallas 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 Dallas, TX by a debt collector? If so, it’s important to begin to gather evidence.
The American Collector’s Association of Texas recommends that Dallas residents send any letters by certified mail and keep a copy for their records. An additional way to build your case against a collection agency is to maintain a log of all phone calls or other contact. Be sure to write down the date, time, name of caller, and what was said. Finally, keep copies of any letters or emails that you receive from the collection agency.
Step 3: Remain Calm and Act Deliberately
When you’re being abused or harassed by a bullish Dallas 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 Dallas, TX 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. Dallas 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 Dallas, TX debt collector attorney, you have a better chance of winning the lawsuit and getting financial compensation for abuses such as phone harassment.
Because both federal and state laws are involved, you should consult with your Dallas attorney about where to file your lawsuit. Possible options include the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas and the Dallas County District Court. Don’t wait too long, because you only have a year from the date of the harassment to begin your case. According to the Texas Attorney General, you may be entitled to both injunctive relief and compensation for damages. In addition, court costs, attorney’s fees, and statutory penalties may be available for you to pursue.
Work With an Experienced Dallas, Texas Debt Collector Harassment Lawyer
If you’ve experienced debt collector harassment in Dallas, TX 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 Texas 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!