Debt Collector Harassment in New York
Debt collector harassment is the intimidation, bullying, abuse, or coercion of consumers into paying off the money they owe. In New York 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 New York
The New York City Bar Association states that it is illegal for a debt collector to harass you in pursuit of collection. Abusive and harassing behavior includes using profane language, threats of violence, or failure to identify themselves on a phone call. Additionally, advertising a debt for sale to coerce payment, and contacting you after receiving written notice to stop are also illegal practices. If you are experiencing this behavior you may have grounds to sue the collection agency.
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 New York 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 New York 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 New York , 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.
When dealing with debt collectors in New York, you could hear from NCSPlus Incorporated, Broadway Debt Collection Agency, Empire Credit and Collections, or Recovery Management Solutions. The Better Business Bureau provides an online list of accredited collection agencies in New York.
What Should You Do If You’ve Been Harassed By a Debt Collector In New York?
Step 1: Know Your Rights
If you think New York 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
If you’ve been harassed in New York by a debt collector, it’s important to gather evidence. Harassment from creditors can become daunting. Still, there are precautions you can take to help your case. You should draft a Stop Contact letter and mail it to the collection agency, and if possible send it certified mail so you’ll have the receipt. Once this letter is received, by law, they can only contact you again to say the letter is received, or that they are filing suit. You should keep all correspondence between yourself and the collection agency, and you might even contact your phone provider to get a copy of your records. NYC Consumer Affairs provides an online form letter to send to collection agencies to stop contact, but you may want an experienced New York Attorney to help you in these matters.
Step 3: Remain Calm and Act Deliberately
When you’re being abused or harassed by a bullish New York 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 New York 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. New York 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 New York debt collector attorney, you have a better chance of winning the lawsuit and getting financial compensation for abuses such as phone harassment.
According to the Federal Trade Commission you have 1 year to file a lawsuit against a debt collector that is engaging in harassment. You’ll need to file the lawsuit in either a state or federal courthouse, such as the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. If you lost wages or sustained medical debt due to the harassment you’ll be able to sue for those damages. If you can’t pursue those damages, a judge may still award you $1,000. As well, they may force the collection agency to pay your court and attorney fees.
Work With an Experienced New York Debt Collector Harassment Lawyer
If you’ve experienced debt collector harassment in New York, 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 New York 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!