Debt Collector Harassment in Everett, WA
Debt collector harassment is the intimidation, bullying, abuse, or coercion of consumers into paying off the money they owe. In Everett, Washington 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 Everett, Washington
According to Washington’s Attorney General, both state and federal laws protect Everett residents from debt collector harassment. Unfortunately, the restrictions on harassment do not extend to an original creditor collecting its own overdue accounts. Harassment by collection agencies includes:
- Threatening violence, or criminal prosecution
- Threatening to seize your property
- Trying to collect a debt you’ve already paid
- Trying to collect a time-barred debt (after the statute of limitations has expired)
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 Everett 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 Everett, WA 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 Everett 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 accumulated overdue debt in Everett, you may have to deal with a debt collector. Fortunately, Washington requires collection agencies to be licensed to do business in the state. Washington’s Department of Licensing provides a License Lookup if you want to confirm that the collector calling you is operating legitimately. Additionally, the Better Business Bureau provides a list of collection agencies operating in and around Everett. These agencies include Sentry Credit Inc, Columbia Collection, and Genesis Credit Management LLC.
What Should You Do If You’ve Been Harassed By a Debt Collector In Everett, Washington?
Step 1: Know Your Rights
If you think Everett 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 Everett, WA by a debt collector? If so, it’s important to begin to gather evidence.
If you want to sue a debt collector for harassment in Everett, you will need strong proof that they have violated the law. Washington Law Help offers the following suggestions to help strengthen your case:
- Create a file to save all paper documents received, including envelopes
- Keep copies of documents you send to the debt collector
- Save all voicemail, texts, and emails
- Log every call, including date, time, what was said, and names of people involved
Step 3: Remain Calm and Act Deliberately
When you’re being abused or harassed by a bullish Everett 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 Everett, WA 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. Everett 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 Everett, WA debt collector attorney, you have a better chance of winning the lawsuit and getting financial compensation for abuses such as phone harassment.
Your Everett debt collector harassment lawsuit might begin in Snohomish County Superior Court. Alternatively, you may file in US District Court, Western District of Washington. An experienced Everett attorney can help determine the optimal jurisdiction for your circumstances. Keep in mind, due to the statute of limitations, you have only one year from the time the harassment occurred to sue for damages. As well, if you win your harassment case, you may still be liable for the original debt.
Work With an Experienced Everett, Washington Debt Collector Harassment Lawyer
If you’ve experienced debt collector harassment in Everett, WA 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 Washington 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!