Debt Collector Harassment in Missoula, MT
Debt collector harassment is the intimidation, bullying, abuse, or coercion of consumers into paying off the money they owe. In Missoula, Montana 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 Missoula, Montana
According to the Montana Legal Services Association, residents of Missoula are protected under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Although collection agencies are not licensed in Montana, they must abide by state and federal laws regarding harassment. Specifically, they are prohibited from certain business practices, including:
- Using abusive or profane language
- Making you accept collect calls or pay for telegrams
- Threatening to harm you, your reputation, or your property
- Pretending to be a government official
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 Missoula 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 Missoula, MT 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 Missoula 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.
The Better Business Bureau provides a list of collection agencies in Missoula, including Collection Professionals, CBO Collections, and Northwest Collectors. The Yellow Pages also provides a list of collection agencies in Missoula, including Collection Bureau Services, Collections Montana, and CB1 Collections. It’s generally a good idea to check online to see if the company you are dealing with is legitimate.
What Should You Do If You’ve Been Harassed By a Debt Collector In Missoula, Montana?
Step 1: Know Your Rights
If you think Missoula 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 Missoula, MT by a debt collector? If so, it’s important to begin to gather evidence.
If you are preparing to take action against debt collector harassment in Missoula, it’s advisable to document a pattern of abuse. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recommends keeping letters and envelopes you receive from a debt collector and logging calls. The time and date of calls, the caller name, company name, and a record of what was said should be logged. You may also want to save voicemail messages, texts, and any emails received from a debt collector.
Step 3: Remain Calm and Act Deliberately
When you’re being abused or harassed by a bullish Missoula 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 Missoula, MT 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. Missoula 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 Missoula, MT 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 Missoula can be tricky. Specifically, your suit can begin with filing a small claims case in the Missoula County Justice Court. Once the complaint is filed and the filing fee paid, a hearing will occur within 40 days. However, if your case involves more than $7,000 in damages, your lawsuit may fall under the jurisdiction of the Fourth Judicial District Court. You may also have the option of filing in the US District Court, District of Montana. Working with an experienced Missoula attorney can help you determine the best jurisdiction for your case.
Work With an Experienced Missoula, Montana Debt Collector Harassment Lawyer
If you’ve experienced debt collector harassment in Missoula, MT 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 Montana 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!